Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 20, 2020
My Dear Good People,
Today, we stand before the Advent Wreath ablaze with light. All four candles burning tell us the days of Christmas are nearly here. There can be a clutching at the heart as we think of all there is still to do: Four mailing days left for me to finish my Christmas cards. What gifts are there still to buy, wrap and send. When shall we go for the tree? Should I go to be tested? I could lose half a day waiting in line. What about that vaccine? Should I get it? What if I get side effects before Christmas? All these questions, and hardly any time to get everything done!
So here we are. Five days until Christmas, and we’re caught up in frenzy. But the Gospel, Luke 1: 26-38, tells us that there is a serenity we need to find, the serenity that Mary felt in her answer to the Angel’s message. Mary might have thought, I don’t know what all this means, but I can’t bear to say no to God. How could I live with myself if I refused to accept His Word? I’ve waited all my life for this moment, and I didn’t even know it. Yes, My God. Yes! Whatever You ask, because You’ve never been wrong in my life. You’ve never been unfaithful. Now I embrace, I surrender, to this Mystery.
And there was peace.
Today is a day to sit with Mary and just hear the beat of her heart as she surrenders herself to God without knowing fully what it might cost. What if I don’t get everything done on my list? What really matters, after all? Only that I look deep into my heart to find the Presence I’ve been waiting for for so long a time. With God, I have everything. He comes to rescue me from all my undone-ness, all my unready-ness, from the untidy-ness of my life. He wants me to fall on my knees and welcome, without fear, the Hope who comes to me. Nothing is impossible to God, Gabriel said.
During these next five days, let us, together, try to turn our hearts away from anxious thoughts. Perhaps our plans are not God’s. Let us seek the peace that Mary found in her yes to God. We’ve been trying for four weeks to be ready for Him. Now He is only moments away. Open that door and let Him in. He doesn’t ask for much, only that we give Him our hearts. Let us be like a child who is content with the gift she receives, without wanting more. This Christmas, the Mystery is Enough.
Have a blessed Christmas. We pray that you will surrender to the Mystery.
With great love,
Mother Marie Julie
and the Sisters of Charity
of Our Lady, Mother of the Church