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Let a nation of faith and justice begin with me

A strong city have we; he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us. Open up the gates to let in a nation that is just, one that keeps faith. A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in you.
(Is 26:1-3)

I would like to live in a nation that keeps faith; a nation where God is not banned from the public square; a nation whose laws are consistent with God's law. Such a nation begins first with individuals who keep faith. These individuals form families that keep faith. These families form communities that keep faith. These communities will build a nation that keeps faith.

So as individuals and families, do not be afraid to publicly live your faith. Bow your head and say grace before you eat in a restaurant. Wish your friends and neighbors a "Blessed Advent" and then a "Merry Christmas".

Remember that Christ said, "Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock." (Mt. 7: 24) Share your bounty with those in need. Reach out to the lonely. Offer love and forgiveness to those who have hurt you.

It is easy to point out the faults of those around us. But turn that examination inward. Advent is a penitential season. Humbly acknowledge your sins and seek forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

We used to sing "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me." Perhaps our song should now say, "Let us be a nation of faith and justice, and let it begin with me."

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