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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
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MAKE A WAY FOR THE LORD

 “A CHRISTMAS celebrated without being mindful of the spiritual aspect of the season - in a beer parlor, pop-house, hotel, cinema house and generally in such things - offends God. CHEATING and OPPRESSING others cannot be said to be a Christmas celebrated deservingly. Having prepared ourselves thus far in Advent, we would have treated this great gift of God worthily in the expectation of a great gift from God who loves us so much.”

 Jesus needs to be born in us to reconcile us with God who loves us more than we love ourselves; and to reconcile us with one another to end killing, rape, kidnapping and so on. The feast of Christmas is not for a day or a season. It is an eternal joy; joy that no one can take from us because it is the joy of Jesus Christ himself made present in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Rom5;2-5.

“Bethlehem is not a capital, and because of this, it is preferred by divine providence, which loves to act through the small and the humble. Jesus in whom the hope of God and man meet was born in this little village” says Pope Francis. Be humble today as you wait to have Jesus born in your heart!

There is need for us to reflect soberly on the birth of Jesus rather than occupy ourselves with expansive arrangements of food and drinks which brings about distractions: God being born in human form is one of the best things that has ever happen to creation. There is nothing wrong with above visible arrangement though. The truth is that you are expecting a spiritual king; hence you have to be clean inwardly to receive Christ spiritually. Leave your old way of celebrating Christmas and try this for a size.

 

In the past, God only reveal Himself partially to a very few but through Jesus, he came to dwell in our midst in human form; this is an ineffable mystery: God in his boundless mercy has called us to contemplate the glory of the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father. This is the incredible paradox of the great and merciful God; this is the greatest gift of God: His only Son. To see him is to see the Father.

Like the three shepherds, be ready to abandon whatever you are doing to enable you locate the new born Jesus: worship him and present your gift to him.  “The angel said to the shepherds, “Be not afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to us is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” Lk 2:10-12.

Jesus warned Martha to avoid distractions. “But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and sad, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and trouble about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her” Lk 10:40-42.

Jesus seeing Zacchaeus’ readiness to see him, he decided to visit him. Zacchaeus did not prepare his house the way we prepare our homes for Christmas but he prepared inwardly. Those who make extra ordinary profits from sales and services especially during Christmas should learn from Zacchaeus and stop defrauding people.  Then, his life changed for good and he was never the same again. So shall it be for you and I this season in Jesus’ name!

“And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ So he made haste and came down and received him joyfully.  And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost” Lk 19:5-10.

My emphasis today is on inward cleanliness and our availability for the Child Jesus to be born in us. So, avoid anything that will lead you to sin or block your way. Wife, do not inflate your kitchen budget for Christmas with the intension of making profit from it as usual. Husband, do not lie to your wife saying, “Oh my dear, I don’t have enough money to meet our needs for this Christmas; just manage this little one. Then, go to your drinking pop and spend recklessly for friends or concubines. I wish you all, a special Christmas this year!

-JOHN ESENE

 


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