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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

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St. Ambrose

Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 96:1-3, 10-13
Matthew 18:12-14

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hearing voices

"Comfort, give comfort to My people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem." —Isaiah 40:1-2

The Lord promises to give us comfort, tenderness, and freedom from slavery and guilt (Is 40:1-2). Our first step in opening these Christmas gifts is to obey a voice crying out: "Prepare the way of the Lord!" (Is 40:3) To do this, we must make straight a highway, fill in every valley, make low every mountain, and so forth (Is 40:3-4). Obviously, we ourselves can't even take the first step in receiving God's comfort, tenderness, and freedom.

Another voice commands the prophet to cry out: "All mankind is grass" (Is 40:6). This expresses our inability to receive God's Christmas presents. However, we need not despair.

We hear one more voice crying out. God's people are told to "go up onto a high mountain" (Is 40:9) and cry out: "Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord God" (Is 40:9-10).

Humanity can't do what it takes to receive God's promises. But God is here. He has become a human being. He will prepare the way for Himself. He will lay low mountains and fill in valleys to prepare for His Christmas coming and His final coming. "He Who calls us is trustworthy, therefore He will do it" (1 Thes 5:24). Our part is to let it be done to us according to God's word (Lk 1:38).

Prayer:  Father, may I give up making Christmas and let You give it to me.

Promise:  "It is no part of your heavenly Father's plan that a single one of these little ones shall ever come to grief." —Mt 18:14

Praise:  St. Ambrose's solid preaching attracted the sinful Augustine to church. Ambrose helped lead St. Augustine to repentance, conversion, and eventually, sainthood.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Hearing God, or our audio tape AV 45-1 or video tape V-45.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

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