FOURTH WEEK OF ADVENT: LOVE
The fourth Sunday, the focus is LOVE. All four candles are lit each evening during this week. In the Gospel readings, we will walk with Mary through the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Magnificat, and then the Birth of John the Baptist. The center of action is not someone who is rich and cultured, but rather poor and humble. The place is not the busy streets of Jerusalem, or the halls of governance and authority in Rome, but rather the countryside, and small villages. The priest Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, can’t speak, because he doubted the word of the Angel Gabriel. The unmarried maiden, Mary, who believed, sang a song of joy and victory, a song of hopes fulfilled, and of love that has come to fruition. God walks His way into Humanity in the company of people that are just like us. It is a story of redemption for all people who believe and respond with obedience to the call of the Lord.
And Mary said:
My soul doth magnify the Lord! And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour! Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. He hath shown might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy. As he spoke to our fathers: to Abraham, and to his seed, forever.
O Holy Word of God, Jesus Christ, help us to remember that all things are in your hands! Come, fill our hearts with love, let our hearts burn with love – love of only You! Amen.