A Journey of Faith and Love
Fourth Sunday of Advent
I will share my faith this Christmas season with a friend or relative in need.
by Father Matthew Kaderabek, LC | Source: Catholic.net
Lord, help me to settle my mind and my heart. I
know that you are present in this prayer. I want to turn aside all distractions. Increase my faith
in your action in my life. You are leading me to yourself. Help me to place myself more fully in
your hands. Increase my faith so that I will do anything and suffer anything for you. Use me as an
instrument of your grace in the lives of those I meet today.
help me to follow Mary’s example of faith and love and bring you to others this
1. Mary, Our Advent Model:
Mary is truly the model of how we should
be living Advent in preparing for Christ’s arrival. God the Father prepared her from the first
moment of her conception to be the worthy mother of his Son. Like a faithful daughter of Israel, she
had prayed throughout her youth for the coming of the Messiah. When she was a young lady, she
discovered that she was part of God’s answer to that prayer, but in a way that would have far
exceeded any Hebrew maiden’s prayers: not only would the Messiah be her son, but her son would also
be God. Her “fiat”, her wholehearted “yes!” to the Archangel Gabriel, launched the proximate
preparation for the birth of Jesus the Messiah. Let us enter into Mary’s response of faith, which is
a guide for us along our own pilgrimage of faith. Let us listen to the beat of Mary’s contemplative
heart, so that our Christmas may be as fruitful as that first Christmas.
2. Someone Who
Loves Takes Notice of the Details:
No sooner had the Archangel left Mary in Nazareth after
announcing her important role in God’s incredible plan of salvation than Mary herself made plans to
depart. She went with haste to help her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth who was pregnant for the first
time. Gabriel had not instructed Mary to go to Elizabeth’s aid, nor did he suggest it. Mary’s great
love was sufficient to cause her to spring into action and embark upon the long sixty-mile journey
to Elizabeth’s hometown outside Jerusalem. In undertaking this challenging and
potentially dangerous journey, Mary showed — as she did at the wedding feast in Cana — that someone
who loves takes notice of the details. She showed that someone who loves does whatever
possible to lend a helping hand, even at the cost of considerable sacrifice. We can imagine that
this was Mary’s attitude from her earliest childhood.
3. Be A Missionary — Bring
By going to Elizabeth’s aid, Mary — carrying the tiny Jesus in her womb — became the
first missionary, the first bearer of the Good News that would change all of human history. Mary was
able to bring incredible joy to both Elizabeth and John the Baptist in her womb precisely because
she was bringing Christ. And Mary was able to burst out with her beautiful Magnificat for the very
same reason. To bring joy to others this Christmas, we really have to bring them Christ. He is the
greatest gift we could ever bring to someone we love — all the material goods in the world fall flat
in comparison. Without sharing Jesus, we are not giving our loved ones anything that is truly
lasting. Bring Christ and you bring everything.
Conversation with Christ:
Jesus, it is clear that your mother wants me to learn from
her example. She inspires me
to bring you to others this
Christmas season. I know plenty of people who desperately
need you in their lives, who need your forgiveness, who
hunger for your love
and presence, perhaps without even
knowing it. I know that my loving relationship with
you is never
meant to be kept to myself; it is a gift meant to be shared.
mother’s example shows me the way to live Advent well
and explicitly challenges me to be
a missionary by bringing you to the world.
I will share my
faith this Christmas season with a friend or relative in need.
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