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Sunday, December 18, 2022

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 7:10-14
Romans 1:1-7
Psalm 24:1-6
Matthew 1:18-24

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room to grow

“God is with us...” —Matthew 1:23

In today’s Gospel passage, we read about the Incarnation, God becoming man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Word became flesh (Jn 1:14), was born, and bore abundant fruit. “Blest is the Fruit of [Mary’s] womb,” Jesus (Lk 1:42).

Each reception of Holy Communion bears a similarity to the Incarnation in that God enters a human body. This indwelling of the Lord is meant for our growth. The Body of Christ lives in us (see Jn 6:57). We are then stretched as this life of God begins to grow within us. As the life of God remains and grows within us, we are then to bear the fruit of God (Jn 15:5, 8).

In this final week before we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus, “prepare the way of the Lord” in your heart (Mt 3:3). Unlike the innkeeper of Bethlehem, who had no room for Jesus (Lk 2:7), open wide the doors of your life to Christ (see Rv 3:20). Is there no room in your life for Jesus? Then your life is too full! Get rid of the “stuff” that clutters your life. Simplify your lifestyle so there will be room for the Eucharistic life of the Lord to grow and bear fruit within you. “Let every heart prepare Him room.”

Prayer:  Father, You have given me the Bread from heaven (Jn 6:32) in the Eucharistic body of Your Son, Jesus. Give me the grace to change anything in my life so I can gladly receive Him in Holy Communion.

Promise:  “Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” —Rm 1:7

Praise:  “O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, Who showed Yourself to Moses in the burning bush, Who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out Your mighty hand to set us free.”

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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Rescript:  In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from December 1, 2022, through January 31, 2023. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio April 12, 2022

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.