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Thursday, December 6, 2007

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St. Nicholas

Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118
Matthew 7:21, 24-27

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location, location, location

"It did not collapse; it had been solidly set on rock." —Matthew 7:25

Every Realtor knows that the future value of a house is based upon its present location. Likewise, Jesus teaches that the future of our lives is based upon our location.

We are to build our lives upon every word that comes from the mouth of Jesus (Mt 4:4). If we make Jesus' words our home (Jn 8:31, JB) and put His words into practice (Mt 7:24), we build our lives upon the unshakable Rock of Ages (Is 26:4), Jesus. Because "permanence is" the "chief trait" of His word, we know that a life built on His word will last forever (Ps 119:160).

In addition to locating our lives upon God's word, we must have deep roots in the word (see Jas 1:21). In studying His word thoroughly, we "may be likened to the man who, in building a house, dug deeply and laid the foundation on a rock. When the floods came the torrent rushed in on that house, but failed to shake it because of its solid foundation" (Lk 6:48).

Those who hear Jesus' words but fail to build their lives on His word are located on shifting sands. The Advent Scriptures are full of warnings, and Jesus warns us that a life not built on His word will collapse and be "completely ruined" (Mt 7:27).

Locate God's word and devour it (Jer 15:16). Dig deeply into His word this Advent. Read the book of Isaiah. Spend large chunks of time reading God's word to prepare for the arrival of Jesus, the Word made flesh (Jn 1:14), this Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, may I tremble at Your word (Is 66:2), study it daily (Acts 17:11), and obey it promptly (Jas 1:22).

Promise:  "A nation of firm purpose You keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in You." —Is 26:3

Praise:  St. Nicholas gave gifts that transformed the lives of those who received them.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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

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