Fourth Sunday of Advent (B) Violet
2 Sm 7: 1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 • Ps 89 • Rom 16:25–27
Lk 1:26–38 • Announcement of the Birth of Jesus
26The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. 32He 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, 33and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” 34But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” 35And 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. 36And 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; 37for nothing will be impossible for God.” 38Mary 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.
The God Who Initiates
St. Thomas Aquinas once said, “He overflowed with love and we became.”
A person who is full of love cannot help but love others lavishly. If man can do this, how much more can God? God loved us first. The moment he conceived us in his mind he has already loved us. He does not need requirements to love us. He does not need perfect quizzes, top exam results, and extracurricular activities to give us high grades. He just loves, period. When we realize this, our tendency is to return this love to God.
David in the First Reading wanted to make a temple for God in return for all the goodness of God in his life. But God did not approve this; instead God made a promise that David’s kingdom would endure forever and his throne would stand forever. God always wants to give. Does this mean that he refuses to accept our love? No. I believe God is inviting all of us to love like he does. We must love without expecting anything in return. We must love even if it hurts, even if it is uncomfortable.
God has not suppressed the love flowing from his heart, as he has loved us up to the point of giving up Jesus, his only begotten Son. What can you do to continue the overflowing love of God? Accept Jesus.
Mary accepted God’s invitation to bear Jesus. Even if it was not clear, she accepted the mission because she trusted God wholeheartedly. But her yes was big for God because it opened the way to his plan of salvation. You too can be like Mary. Say yes to God to be a bearer of Jesus. Allow him to affect your world. It will be hard at first, but trust God so that in the end it will bless not only your life but also the lives of others.
Christmas is nothing without Christ. Allow others to experience the spirit of Christmas by bringing Christ to them.
- Who was the angel sent by God?
- How did the angel explain the conception of Mary?
- What was the response of Mary?
- When was the last time when you truly felt God’s love?
- If God invites you today to do an impossible task, will you say yes immediately? Why or why not?
- How will you show to others the spirit of Christmas?
- Make a gratitude box. Write little notes of all the blessings you have received this year and place them in the box.
- Pray to God that he may send you his invitation to do something greater than yourself.
- Say yes when there is an opportunity to love like God.