READINGS: Micah 5: 1-4a; Hebrews 10: 5-10; Luke 1:39-45.
Peace and good!
Today is the Fourth Sunday of Advent with less than a week to go before Christmas.
Today’s readings remind us of God’s promise of a Messiah (in Micah); the need to do the will of God (Hebrews) and Mary being greeted by Elizabeth. What can we make of this mix of messages? I think several things can be gleaned from the readings which might help us today.
First, from the Old Testament reading, we are reminded that the Father’s plan to send His Son as Messiah was not happenstance or random but foretold by the prophets. God wanted to give the Hebrew people hope by reminding them that God’s love would pierce through the historical ambiguities, violations against the peaceful, and the harshness of day-to-day life. God’s love would send us a King, Jesus the Christ, who would not only demonstrate the infinite love of God but also His desire to be with His people. WE are loved!
From the Letter to the Hebrews we are told that what God wants is not sacrifices or fancy churches but people who do his will. As Catholics, we are called to love, serve and obey God, putting Him above all earthly rulers or laws which try to keep us from God. Let us continually ask ourselves: ‘What is God’s will that I do today?”
Finally, from the Gospel of Luke Mary arrived to assist her relative Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist. While the focus is normally on Mary, rightly so, perhaps we can remember the humility of Elizabeth in accepting the help of Mary during her time of need. We all have times of distress or trial and today we are given the witness of Elizabeth who graciously accepted help.
With one week to go, I am sure the pace of life has sped up with shopping, baking, cooking, and assorted preparations for Christmas. In this whirlwind of activity perhaps we can take some time to remember the point of the celebration, namely that God so loved us (not just humanity as a group but each of us individually!) to suffer the limitations of being human, even to dying for us. This is cause for celebration.
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God bless you. Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent and have a Blessed Christmas.