Fourth Sunday of Advent
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel." Isaiah 7:14
I’m so glad that Mary said "Yes" to the Lord and brought Jesus into the world for us. But don’t each of us also need to bring Jesus to the world? "As the Father sent me, so I send you…"
Advent is a great time for us to consider how we are doing in this area. How can I bring Jesus to others? Jesus showed us by example that loving others will change the world. Isn’t that what Pope Francis is calling us to do? When we love people, we open a path for them to experience God’s love. We don’t have to save them, we don’t have to theologize them, we just need to be kind and generous and loving.
If we spend time with the Lord and soak up His Presence, we become more and more like Him. As we surrender our day and invite him to guide us, He will lead us to those who need our love. It doesn’t have to be complicated. We all know how a smile or a hug can change your day. Maybe there are people at your church who are lonely and you can drop by for a short visit. Even just noticing someone who is alone and taking a moment to chat with them after mass can make a big difference. Obviously the opportunities are endless.
We went Christmas caroling at a retirement home yesterday, wanting to share the joy of the season. We were ushered into the lock-down unit for those with memory problems, where visitors are scarce. and as we sang to these people, I received much more than I gave. One woman in particular blessed me so much. She was delighted by the music and was clapping her hands and laughing and her face was filled with joy. I realized as she smiled at me … I didn’t bring Jesus to her… she brought Jesus to me.
We can all be Christ-bearers. All of us.
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 6. Janice also leads women’s retreats and recently wrote her first book: God Speaks to Ordinary People – Like You and Me. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.janicecarleton.com/ or email her at [email protected].