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In one of the Peanuts cartoons Charlie Brown’s younger sister Sally is sitting in a beanbag chair watching television. Linus tries to read to her about the real meaning of Christmas from a scholar’s point of view:

“Listen to this, Sally. It says here the census that brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, which is said to have been to all the world, probably just means the Roman Empire at the time. And listen to this. When we read that there was no room in the inn, the word “inn” is better translated ‘guest room.’ The intention of course is to contrast a place of human lodging with a place for feeding animals.

“Not only that, Sally, listen to this: ‘the name Bethlehem itself is interesting. It means ‘house of bread’ or it can mean ‘house of fighting.’ That’s fascinating. What do you think, Sally?” asks Linus.

At this, Sally stands up, looks at Linus and says, “I think if I don’t get every single thing I want for Christmas this year, I’m going to totally gross out.”

It’s clear that Sally wasn’t ready for the Savior to come and live in her heart. Christmas obviously meant something entirely different to her.

How about you? Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Has your preparation so far this Advent season been pretty much superficial? You’re getting your shopping under control. Your calendar is full, but you’re starting to get a handle on all of the busyness of the season. Now it’s time to deal with the bigger issues.

How’s your relationship with God? How about your relationships with those closest to you? A voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”

As we hear in today’s Gospel: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Luke 1:39-45).

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