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During this holy season of Advent we are all being called on and exhorted by the Church to prepare ourselves to commemorate worthily the first coming of Christ as our Brother and Savior. If we do that each year; if we let the full meaning of this great festival of Christmas enter into our innermost being, welcoming the Son of God in the form of the Babe of Bethlehem with a clean, sincere and grateful heart, then each year of our lives will be sanctified and a big step will be taken towards our eternal goal. Christmas each year should be a mile-stone on the road to heaven for every true Christian. It is a festival which vividly recalls to our minds the length our heavenly Father has gone to in order to make us adopted sons and sharers in his everlasting happiness.

If God cares so much for our true welfare—and the Incarnation surely proves that he does—we should surely have enough interest in our own future to cooperate with him in this affair of our eternal salvation.

In today’s gospel lesson it is Christ himself who is asking each one of us to live our lives so that no matter when we are called to judgment we shall not be found wanting. This does not mean that we must always be praying. Nor does it mean that we must take no interest in the affairs of this life. Of the two men working in the field and of the two women grinding corn, one of each was found unworthy, not because of the work he or she was doing, but because that work had for them wrongly excluded God and his purpose in life. The two found worthy had room for God and their own eternal welfare in their hearts—their work was part of their loyal service to God and was a means towards their salvation.

In this town (or city) of ours all adults are occupied one way or another with earthly affairs and necessarily so. But while these earthly affairs may, and do alas, become cruel task-masters for some and tie down their whole attention to the things of this earth, for others, thank God, their daily tasks are stepping stones to heaven. The day of reckoning will come, suddenly like a thief in the night for the former, and for the others it will not be a thief breaking in but the Master knocking at their door to take them to himself.

Christmas comes but once a year but its meaning, its lesson, must remain in our hearts and minds all the year round. God wants us in heaven forever. He sent his Son on earth to bring us there. Aided by God’s grace we resolve today so to live our lives that when death claims us we shall meet Christ, not as a condemning judge, but as a loving brother.