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Sunday, December 23, 2007

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 7:10-14
Romans 1:1-7
Psalm 24
Matthew 1:18-24

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"the best laid plans of mice and men"

"When Joseph awoke he did as the angel of the Lord had directed him." —Matthew 1:24

Many of you have Christmas planned. You're going to go to certain parties, see certain family members and friends, and give specific presents. You expect to receive a few presents yourself along with some Christmas goodies. The Christmas you have planned is about the same as last year's Christmas, with a few minor variations.

What if Jesus decided to change your Christmas plans dramatically? Would you let Him be Lord of your Christmas? Ahaz had plans about how to avoid destruction by the Assyrians. Just when Ahaz had his plans all set, Isaiah told Ahaz to forget his plans and trust in God alone. The Lord even promised a dramatic sign to prove Isaiah's message (Is 7:11). Ahaz refused to ask for the sign, would not even consider changing his plans, and was destroyed by the Assyrians.

Joseph planned to quietly divorce Mary because she was pregnant and the baby was not his (Mt 1:19). An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to change his plans. He changed his plans and became the foster father of Jesus, the husband of Mary, and head of the Holy Family.

The best Christmases are not when we get our way, but when we change our plans so that Jesus gets His way.

Prayer:  Father, ruin any plans of mine that are not Yours.

Promise:  "The virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son, and shall name Him Immanuel." —Is 7:14

Praise:  "O Emmanuel, King and Lawgiver, Desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord and God."

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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