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 the time. How do we make our Christmas a fruitful Christmas? For a definitive answer we can turn to the First Chapter of Luke’s Gospel and discover the attitude and approach of the person whose first Christmas remains the most fruitful Christmas of all time: Mary, the mother of Jesus.
According to the New Testament, Mary was a gracious, strong, sensitive woman who can tell us a great deal about life. This peasant girl, probably a teen-ager, from the little village of…
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