Mary said, â€œBehold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.â€
In the first three weeks of Advent we focused on hope, peace, and joy and how those key elements of Godâ€™s Kingdom life must be shown in our lives and conveyed by us who are His people, the brothers and sisters of His Divine Son, Jesus.
Our kingdom tasks – what we are to convey – is:
- An offer of hope to those we encounter;
- To be peace in the midst of the communities we are involved in â€“ our neighborhoods, workplaces, social groups, and families; and
- To be promoters and bringers of joy, bearers of a joyous message â€“ Jesus has saved us and is available to each and every person. Come meet Him.
In this final week of Advent (lasting less than a full week), we focus on our responsibility to love.
The Alan Jacksonâ€™s song, â€˜I Need A Love Like That,â€™ as certain songs do, conveys what we seek, our need for a love that surpasses time and space, a love that takes hold of us, completes us, and makes us whole. We all need a love like that.
God understands that need, for He Himself is love. So, God determined to act and give His all, His very Son to us. He carried out His plan to show us the immensity of His love by engaging people who would respond in love. We know their names: Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zachariah, Simeon, Anna, and John. We know their occupations: shepherds and Maji, Levites and prophets.
By the giving of Godâ€™s greatest gift, and our acceptance of that gift, we follow in the footsteps of love. We become bearers of the central element of Godâ€™s Kingdom â€“ love.
As with those who responded to Godâ€™s plan with love, we respond in love. We show forth the all-encompassing love that surpasses time and space. We bear that love which has taken hold of us, that has completed us, and that has made us whole.
Indeed, God has engaged us because He knows we are people who will respond in love. We know our responsibility is to love and by love to draw people to Jesus.
Our names inscribed in the Book of Life are known to God. Our professions, whether accountants, civil servants, service workers, business owners, healthcare workers, or even priests give us the opportunity to show love. Our times and circumstances allow us to hear those who say, â€˜I need loveâ€™ and answer with Jesus, the love that will take hold of, complete, and make them whole.