Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 18, 2016

By Ida Robertine Berresheim, CSJ
St. Louis, MO

Is 7:10-14; Ps 24:1-7c, 10b;
Rom 1:1-7; Mt 1:18-24

Look! The virgin is with child and will give birth
to a son whom they will call Immanuel…
Is 7:14 and Mt 1:23

This fourth Sunday of Advent begins a week which pressures us on every side in anticipation of the great feast day. So much to do: get the right gifts to the right people, decorate, send cards and messages, go to that party, take care of immediate needs. Yet, deep down, we know well what Advent and Christmas are all about. We are to “Prepare the way of the Lord” to continue the long journey of salvation history and the celebration of Jesus’ coming in time.

As we move closer to the great feast, we contemplate and celebrate with great joy. At the same time, we remember those who await His coming with suffering, loss, doubt and sorrow. There is no escape from the terrible realities of their lives of poverty, violence, loss, discomfort and uncertainty. The bittersweet Christmas message is with us. At this time of gift-giving, may we prepare to celebrate not only in joy with our loved ones, but also by going beyond them to offer to others the gifts of generosity, mercy, understanding and kindness, especially those in need.

May your light shine in the darkness.

Personal Challenge
How will we celebrate the wondrous gift?
Check back on Thursday for our Christmas Eve reflection!

Courtesy of Ministry of the Arts

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