Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

JMJV

Reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Advent

 

 

My Dear Good People

 

On this Fourth Sunday of Advent the Second Reading at Mass reminds us that by the Will of God, we have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ, once for all (Hebrews 10:10). This passage is offered for our consideration during Advent: by the desire of the second Person of the Trinity to take on a human form we, fallen, weak, frail human beings can boast that our God became one of us! That gathering of our nature to Himself ennobled us and, in fact, consecrated us once and for all, that is forever.  What does that mean for us?

 

It means we have been honored beyond all telling.

 

Think of the pride an entire elementary school experiences when one of their fellow students is chosen to read his poem for the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.  A great honor! Or a family’s pride when their eldest girl receives an appointment to West Point. Such a Gift! Or a nation when their hockey team wins the World Cup, especially a small nation that has never made world news for anything! These are moments of recognition that become the stuff of tales for years to come.  Yet, to think that our God chose to consecrate our humanity by making it His own is nearly incomprehensible. Was it not enough that He created us in His own image? Yet now, at the moment of history that we will soon celebrate, our nature, once greatly wounded by the sin of Adam, is now consecrated by exquisite Love.

 

Consecrated. What does that mean?

 

It means that every part of us, of me, of you, is sanctified. Our minds are made holy. Our words are consecrated. Our thoughts and deeds are holy if we allow them to be. Even our heartbeat. And the moment between each of our heartbeats has become sacred space, since the Son of God took on the heartbeat of humanity when He was incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary.  Should this not make us thrill with a humble pride that transforms our understanding of our individual lives?

 

That heartbeat and that sacred space before the next: I like to think about it as Advent draws to a close, especially as I must admit to myself that I haven’t spent these four weeks as I had planned. In fact, there seems to be little to be proud of in my preparation for Christmas. And yet…and yet–

 

If every beat of our heart is consecrated by God, for God, how can we measure success by anything other than the wonderful mercy of God in taking on our mortal frame, as the Fathers of the early Church would call the Incarnation? Rather than weep at our insignificance before the manger where God likes in the guise of a tiny Child, can we not call to mind our consecrated lives, the inherent holiness with which we have been endowed since the moment of Gabriel’s Word to Mary?

 

So what is left for us to think?

 

Let us think on this: like Mary and Joseph, every beat of our heart whispers the Name of Jesus. It’s in our DNA to do that. Every moment between every beat whispers, You are mine, and the next whispers, and I am Yours.  If we realize we are consecrated, once and for all, which means forever, then it will happen without our even knowing it. It remains for us to call it to mind now and then, especially in these days before Christmas. Way deep in the stillness of our hearts, we are For God.

The next time we meet, it will be Christmas.

May we be filled with honor because our God is One of Us. 

 

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“With Mary, our lives continually proclaim the greatness of the Lord and the joy experienced in rendering service to Him.”

Holy Rule

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