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Saturday, December 23, 2023

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St. John of Kanty

Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14
Luke 1:57-66

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“clean up your act”

“He will sit refining and purifying [silver], and He will purify the sons of Levi.” —Malachi 3:3

Before Christ’s coming this Christmas, we must be purified. In fact, that’s putting it mildly. We need to be refined by fire and have our crimson-stained sins (Is 1:18) whitened by “the fuller’s lye” (Mal 3:2). We need to be purged, detoxified, and repentant (Mk 1:4).

Most Christians don’t consider themselves so dirty as to require such extreme forms of purification. I’m sure Zechariah, being a just man and a blameless priest (Lk 1:6), didn’t think he needed nine months of being mute to “clean up his act” (see Lk 1:20). Most Christians think they need to be merely dusted off, not put in a blast furnace.

However, God knows His children better than they know themselves. Most little children don’t recognize dirt the way their parents do. The children are often quite content to make a mess and live in it. Children don’t usually tell parents to clean their rooms, but vice versa. In today’s Scripture readings and in this Advent season, God the Father is telling us, His children, that we may be more dirty than we think.

Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin (Jn 16:8). Repent! Go to Confession before Christmas. Be clean and pure — by the Father’s standards.

Prayer:  Jesus, this Christmas by Your grace I will be pure as You are pure (1 Jn 3:3).

Promise:  “All who heard stored these things up in their hearts, saying, ‘What will this child be?’ and, ‘Was not the hand of the Lord upon him?’ ” —Lk 1:66

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

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Effects of Sin, listen to, download or order our CD 81-3 or DVD 81 on our website.)

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, 2023, through January 31, 2024. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio May 17, 2023"

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.