II Samuel 7:1-5,8-12,14,16; Psalms 89:2-5,27,29; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38
In chapter Three of Matthew’s Gospel, John The Baptist is baptizing His followers and telling them that Jesus Christ will soon be in their midst. “But when he sees a number of Pharisees and Sadducees coming,” Matthew tells us, he says to them (among other things) “Brood of vipers … Even now the ax is laid to the roots of the trees, so that the tree which fails to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown on the fire” (Mt. 3:8,10).
These strong words of John the Baptist suggest that he’s trying to tell us something important about our preparation for the coming of Jesus. He lays our task before us in a negative way, telling us that if we are not fruitful, we are in big trouble: “Every tree that is not fruitful will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” The whole idea is, of course, that we are called to be fruitful, not just at Christmas time but all…
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