Fourth Sunday of Advent
Micah 5:1–4a • Ps 80:2–3, 15–16, 18–19 •
Heb 10:5–10 • Lk 1:39–45
As we move closer and closer to Christmas, we can find ourselves in a frenzy trying not to forget a myriad of task yet to be done…. gifts to be bought and wrapped, card to be written and mailed, decorating to be completed, baking to be done, etc. All this is in an effort to reflect generosity of spirit and love of others. All this because of the Birth of Jesus, God’s ultimate gift to the world.
The Readings for this fourth Sunday of Advent focus on the small things that made the Birth of Christ so monumental and enduring. In the First Reading the prophet Micah announces that in a small and relatively insignificant town called Bethlehem, a new ruler would be born. And thus, this was the birthplace of King David who was the human ancestor of Jesus. The Psalm refers to the act of simply turning towards God in order to be saved and uses the image of the shepherd as one who rescues. The Second Reading from Hebrews reminds us that no big sin offerings or holocausts are desired only that we follow the steps of Jesus and do the will of God. Finally, in the Gospel we experience Mary’s Fiat, her Yes that calls her to visit her cousin Elizabeth. This is the beginning of Mary’s many yeses to her God. This can give us strength and courage as we, too, are called to say yes over and over in our lives to serve our Creator.
Spend some quiet time today away from the frenzy of the season to reflect on what we are truly called to be and do this Christmas. What are the small, seemly insignificant, steps you can take towards Bethlehem in your heart and in your actions? What gifts has God given you to bring to the world, one present at a time?
“Blessed are you who believe that what was spoken to you by our God would be fulfilled.”
Blessings on your journey to Bethlehem.
Sr. Joan Agro, OP