“Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing.” –Isaiah 35:10

The Lord promised that the desert would bloom with abundant flowers (Is 35:1-2). The Lord was not referring to just any desert but to the desert separating the Israelites exiled in Babylon from their homeland. In other words, the Lord promised to remove obstacles separating us from our eternal, heavenly home with Him.

A huge crowd separated a paralyzed man from Jesus, Who alone could heal him (Lk 5:19). Four of the man’s friends overcame this obstacle by carrying the paralytic up onto the roof and then, after dismantling another obstacle, part of the roof, lowering him to Jesus (Lk 5:19). The man came home to the Lord when he accepted the forgiveness of Jesus (Lk 5:20; see Lk 15:18).

Every human being has a desire to go home, especially for Christmas. Many people have never had much of a home. They have been hurt, abused, used, broken, and manipulated. Between them and their true home, they have a vast desert of sin and pain, crowded with unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, resentment, and depression. We also need to get home to Jesus, but our sins separate us from Him. However, if we turn to Jesus, He will forgive and heal us. By going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we can change the desert and get home to the Christ of Christmas. He will make the desert bloom and bring us home for Christmas.

PRAYER: Father, I am “searching for a better, a heavenly home” (Heb 11:16). Lead me home this Advent.
PROMISE: “My friend, your sins are forgiven you.” –Lk 5:20
PRAISE: When Frank lost his house, he focused his attention on his heavenly home, and the Lord blessed him with peace beyond all understanding (Phil 4:7).

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