Ready to love?
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”
Thank you for joining as we continue in this time of expectation awaiting the Lordâ€™s return.
Over the first two Sundays of Advent, we considered the cognates of hope and peace. Living expectantly, we are to mark each day as the day of the Lordâ€™s return so that we may stay aware and prepared, living worthy lives, lives that show forth Godâ€™s love.
We have hope which is confidence and surety in Christ Jesus Who delivers on all Godâ€™s promises. He gives us His grace, most especially here at Holy Mass, so we may live out His gospel way, being His love. Since we are sure of His promises, we are at peace regardless of what surrounds us.
In our life of hope and peace we achieve inner joy, a state of being wherein we are unaffected regardless of what is happening around us or even to us. We have joy because our eyes are fixed on Jesus, the deliverer of all Godâ€™s promises. Our state of joy is the starting point for a life in which we rejoice and share Godâ€™s love.
The Old Testament takes us on a tour of expectancy â€“ the path along the plan God the Father is bringing to fruition, His sending of His only Son to save us. This tour lasted thousands of years and was marked throughout by Godâ€™s speaking to His people through the prophets. Suddenly there was silence. For about 400 years marked by conflict and great societal change God went silent.
Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, and Zachariah are caught up in a whirlwind of God ordered events, the start of the New Testament, and the fulfillment of all that was expected. Jesus is revealed, Godâ€™s word is declared, sins are forgiven, and freedom from this world is provided for all who choose to dwell in the Kingdom.
Godâ€™s loving promise was brought to fulfillment in Godâ€™s loving coming to be with us, not just for a moment, for a day or season, but for eternity.
Think of it this way, the hope, peace, and joy we own has its source in Godâ€™s love. Our penance earlier and the freedom we now feel has its source in Godâ€™s love. Our setting forth from here into the week ahead is replete with the knowledge that God is with us with Jesus at our side and the Spirit at work within us.
We think there is silence. For about 1989 years marked by conflict and great societal change we perceive God as silent. Brothers and sisters, He is not!
We pray that the Lord return. Let it be so! But if not yet, know that you and I are His voice and presence. His gifts and grace keep us ready to love. Let us then show forth His love in all we say and do as we await Him.