Monday, December 19, 2016

The final days before Christmas

Christmas is just a few days away and many of you are making your final checklists to make sure you are ready for the holiday. Shopping for gifts, shopping for ingredients, pulling out the rest of the decorations, cleaning the house to welcome guests....the work never ends does it? But what about your soul? Have you made your checklist to make sure your soul is ready for Christmas?
Here is today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 9:42-50; 10:1 (RSV) - The Lord said, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to Gehenna, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. For every one will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its saltness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another." And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again; and again, as his custom was, he taught them.
I am sharing this with you today to encourage you to make a spiritual checklist for Christmas.
  • Have I fast as much as I am able as an offering to God?
  • Have I said my daily prayers as I should?
  • Have I been making time to read the Scriptures?
  • Have I chosen a charity to support for Christmas?
  • Have I prepared to receive Holy Communion?
  • Have I lived a Christian life?

If you haven’t done all these, don’t panic. We all have fallen short of the glory of God. That is why the Church reminds us again this week of the importance of preparing our soul for Christmas. But there is one final item for your Christmas Checklist....schedule Holy Confession. I encourage you to contact your spiritual father and make an appointment for Holy Confession. Since we all know we fall short, it is through the joyous mystery of Holy Confession that we can get that “fresh start” and be fully prepared for Christmas. Your soul will thank you...

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