My kids were watching a Christmas movie the other night about a man who accidentally gets confused with Santa. During a press conference called to discuss the “naughty and nice” list, the fake Santa flourishes with the scroll and the list flies off and goes into the fire. The fire destroys the list. This causes a stir because all of the sudden no one knows who the naughty kids are. The elves then have to get busy to make more toys because now everyone gets a toy. The slate, the naughty list in this case, gets wiped clean. Past misdeeds are forgotten. Those kids who were known as “naughty” are now treated the same as the kids known as “nice.”
In this season of Advent we marvel in the fact that God chose to enter our experience and become one of us in order to redeem us from the naughty list. It is no accident, but a divine and loving plan. The first two readings remind us of God’s mercy and promises of redemption. They also call us during this season to continually renew our efforts to turn to God, and to call on God’s name. As a redeemed people, we now know the Savior and can marvel at His love for us and His divine presence with us.
The gospel reading reminds us that it doesn’t matter if you used to be on the naughty list or on the nice list. What matters is choosing each day to believe, to follow, and to accept God’s grace freely given.
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