I’ve always found the Fourth Sunday of Advent one of the hardest Sundays in the liturgical to prepare for.  The reason for this is that we are so close to Christmas and people are so excited about family celebrations and traditions, that it is hard to maintain the spirit of expectant waiting called for by Advent.  This year presents an even greater challenge because the on-going effects of the pandemic on our daily lives and family traditions continue to be a heavy weight impacting us all.  So what is there to say this year?

I think the one thing I would like to say this year on the Fourth Sunday of Advent is have “no fear, our God is coming to save us.”  All of the event surrounding the birth of Jesus, the annunciation to Zechariah of the birth of John the Baptist, the dreams of St. Joseph, the annunciation to Mary, the visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, remind us that God comes to His people in often unexpected and amazing ways.  God did not choose the strong and powerful to participate in the birth of the Messiah (the Magi excluded) but the simple and humble. He came to them in their daily lives and struggles and invited them to be part of the greatest story ever told.

Well, we believe that God continues to come to us, and often in our daily joys and struggles we all face.  Jesus taking on flesh in the womb of Our Lady tells us that Jesus wants to come into our lives and grow within us so that we can bring Him to birth in our lives and in the lives of others.  Jesus’s incarnation and birth did not free Mary and Joseph from the challenges and difficulties of life, but His presence allowed them to face the challenges with trust and confidence.  The same is true for us.

Jesus has come, is coming and will continue to come into our lives so that He can accompany us in every part of our lives, the joyful and the sad, the good and the bad. This week, let’s think about that and not despair, our God is coming to save us and bring us to eternal life.

In Christ the Word made flesh,

Msgr. John McDermott

Vicar General

CNS/Nancy Wiechec