Sunday, December 18, 2011

According to Your Word - Fourth Sunday of Advent

(Image of the Advent wreath is from ImageVine/courtesy of All rights reserved.)

Cycle B
(II Sam 7:1-5, 8-11, 16; Rm 16:25-27; Lk 1:26-38)

Words can be weapons and medicine. Words can be beautiful and ugly. Words can hurt and kill. They can heal and encourage. It depends on how we use them. It depends on us and our free choices.

Today’s readings mention the beautiful words spoken to Our Lady that she would be the Mother of God. The words of invitation troubled her at first. Being a solid and assured woman she questioned their meaning. When she understood the angel, she willingly accepted to become pregnant with the Savior of the world.

“And the Word was made flesh.” Jesus took his whole body from Mary. There was nothing of St. Joseph in Jesus’ making.

This tremendous mystery of God becoming human was accomplished through words: words of invitation and words of acceptance; the words of the Archangel Gabriel and the words of the Virgin Mary.

We hear the healing words of the Church which invite us to prepare for Christmas— a healing invitation to confess our sins and receive God’s pardon.

Our joyful acceptance opens us up to Christ and his becoming human.

Jesus will use words to teach, to heal, to console, to work miracles. He will say, “Come and see” to those who want to follow Him more closely.

I came and saw the Franciscans 46 years ago and am still listening to, laughing with and learning from the friars. They have brought Christ to me.

– Fr. Raphael Eagle, T.O.R.