better late than never
"But afterward he regretted it and went." —Matthew 21:30
We're halfway through Advent and some of us have not even started to prepare the way of the Lord. About two weeks ago, when the Spirit asked us to watch and pray, to fast and give alms, to repent and believe, many refused and said: "No, I will not" (Mt 21:30). Some are beginning to realize they made a terrible mistake and are regretting these past two weeks.
Repent! The Lord is merciful. Decide to enter into this Advent preparation for Christ's Christmas coming. You're late, but He will give you the full day's pay (Mt 20:9). The Lord encourages you by saying: "You need not be ashamed of all your deeds, your rebellious actions against Me" (Zep 3:11).
At this moment, tax collectors and prostitutes are repenting (Mt 21:31). They will have Christmas this year, possibly for the first time. They will meet Jesus in a deeply personal way. They will encounter Christ at Mass. They will have Christ-Mass. But will you have Christ-Mass? Or will you again miss Christ? How many years has it been since you've had room for Christ in your inn? (Lk 2:7)
Remove the sin. Make room for the Savior in your heart. Possibly, like the first Christmas, only a few will be at the manger this year. But you can be there. The Lord has promised: "I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord" (Zep 3:12).
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your mercy.
Promise: "I will change and purify the lips of the peoples, that they all may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord." —Zep 3:9
Praise: St. Lucy, though tortured for her love for Christ, remained faithful and received the crown of martyrdom.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, An Isaiah Advent.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011
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