Fourth Sunday

We come at last to the fourth week of Advent….with Christmas on a Sunday, this year’s Advent (four full weeks) is as long as it could be). Advent really stirs our hearts & minds, gently yet deeply and leaves us within the normal setting in which we find ourselves in home, in work, relaxation and quietly asks us to pray more intensively, not to mention the Scriptures to study them more carefully and wait upon the Lord attentively. It all brings out the best in us. (See p. 129 of Stuhmueller’s Biblical Meditations for Advent and the Christmas Season). And we DO long for His coming. Can we identify those traits in us now at the end of Advent?

Advent, a season of joyful expectation before Christmas, begins Nov. 29 this year. The Advent wreath, with a candle marking each week of the season, is a traditional symbol of the liturgical period. (CNS photo/Lisa A. Johnston, St. Louis Review)

Pope Francis reminds us that “Mary sustains our journey toward Christmas, for she teaches us how to live this Advent Season in expectation of the Lord. For this time of Advent is a time of waiting for the Lord, who will visit us all on the feast, but also, each one, in our own hearts. The Lord is coming! Let us wait for Him.”

It is “Emmanuel” God with us which as cited in the Word Among Us (Dec. p. 45) There are 3 treasures contained in that one word: Upon waking the morning and the challenges of the day loom before you, remember that God IS with you. Secondly, he is your courage AND strength when you feel unequal to the task and finally, He is your joy, reminding you of the promise of heaven.

As we finish this final week of Advent, go back to the earlier reflections, where have these weeks taken us, really what do we have to show for them” We pause, we look, we listen with our hearts: what is He saying to your heart, what are YOU saying to the Heart of Jesus!?

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