Fourth Sunday of Advent

the-annunciation-18981

Gospel LK 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

Reflection

Advent is a time for both anticipation and receiving. For the first two weeks, we prepared our hearts and lives for the coming of our Lord and Savior. And for the past two weeks, we turned our hearts and minds to the future when Christ will come at the end of time. Now as Advent ends we conclude our period of expectant delight and now attend to the Christ Child who again claims us as his own. This Child reminds us and is the center of the many facets and mysteries of our belief: divinity and humanity, birth and death, babe and king, manger and cross, innocence and suffering, life and resurrection. This is the Child who saves; the child born specifically and purposefully for you!

We have awaited the coming of the Christmas Child. Let us receive him as babe and king. Let us lay our humble gifts alongside the frankincense, myrrh and gold as we present ourselves to this Christ Child, our Lord. Let us relinquish our former images and expectations in favor of an open and honest relationship. Let us surrender our presumptive understanding of this earthly life in favor of being open to receiving holy grace. In receiving this Child at the beginning of this new year, let us follow our Blessed Mother’s example, saying: let it be done to me according to God’s will, for nothing is impossible for our God!

– Most Rev. George R. Lucey, FCM

Action Step

God is always calling us.  Let us listen to his call and think, are we ready to say “yes” to participate in God’s divine plan.

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