Advent is almost over now. This final week sometimes lasts only a few days rather than a full week. In any case, it is a time that finds us busy with preparation. As the frantic pace of the world around us increases, our faith bids us to do the opposite. Week four of Advent is a time to slow down, quiet down, and take time for God.
The readings of the Fourth Sunday of Advent always focus our attention on Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The gospel asks us to ponder the mystery of the wonderful thing that God does for us and in us and through us. Mary's response is perfect, an acceptance of God's will. The first thing she did afterward, however, was seek advice from another person, her cousin Elizabeth, who was also experiencing the unbelievable power of God in her life.
As this year's Advent slowly closes, be sure to take time to let these readings penetrate your soul, enliven your expectation of what God wants to do through you and for you. Then through the eyes of faith see the true marvel of Christmas: Jesus who came to Bethlehem long ago; Jesus who is always with us, even though sometimes hidden as though in a womb; Jesus who is coming at the end of time to transform our world into the world of the gospel he preached.
[Source: Sunday Bulletin, St. Paul's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; December 21, 2008.]