Fourth Sunday of Advent
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
"Nothing will be impossible for God." Luke 1: 37
The gift of motherhood is offered to Mary. She is not naïve: "How can this be since I have no relations with a man?" She is told that "the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will conceive a son. Therefore the child to be born will be called the Son of God." She accepts.
I don’t want to be simplistic. Mary’s acceptance comes out of her "…full(ness) of grace." Her role as the immaculate/ sinless mother will lead her to become the "Mother of sorrows." Her pure and deep love will know a sorrow that none has ever known.
As we look at our own lives, I wonder how many of us have accepted our role as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, and as brothers and sisters to Jesus. The relationship is one of love. The Father loves Jesus. Jesus goes on to say that as the Father loves him so He loves each and all of us. But then Jesus adds, "And as I love you so are you to love one another." We can’t forget for one second that we are all brothers and sisters, one huge human family.
I am sure that you will both give and receive gifts this Christmas. May they be given and received with love. In addition nothing will quite match the gift of our love which reaches out to the suffering, the sick, the weary, the abandoned, the depressed, the lonely, those misunderstood and those who need our forgiveness. Please accept my gift of love.
Fr. Peter Berendt, C.P. is on the staff of Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center, Houston, Texas.