for Sunday, December 23, 2012
Christmas is almost here. Just a few more days! The word of God is
seeking to open our hearts to the great mystery that we will be celebrating
in the Birth of the Savior. In order to understand a bit more about Jesus,
we have to understand a lot more about all the Scriptures that went before
Him and point to Him.
The first reading today, from the Prophet Micah, speaks about a future
ruler of Israel who will come from Bethlehem. This brought about among
some of the chosen people an understanding that a Messiah, a Savior, would
come from Bethlehem. Thus when the three Magi ask, they are directed to
Just as today, not everyone believes in Jesus Christ or in His Church, so
also in the time before Jesus, not everyone believed that the Jewish
prophets had any special insight or understanding of God's ways. Yet the
whole of Jewish Scripture keeps referring to some future figure who will do
great things for the people.
Of course, there was the hope for a political Messiah, a Savior who make
the chosen people dominant on the earth. That is never the deepest promise
of the Scriptures. Even today, secular cultures look for a messiah and a
savior in the political leaders. Every election in free countries seems to
be about who can give us a better deal. This is just the opposite of the
promises of Scripture.
The promise of Scripture proclaims this: do God's will and you will have
Just as in the time of Jesus, so also today, most people look for something
more, something in this life, something that will give me pleasure, power
and control right now. Jesus states: My kingdom is not of this world.
The Letter to the Hebrews keeps this reality before us. It is not some
external reality that God wants. God wants our hearts and our beings,
completely. God wants us to seek Him and to do His will. Not only that,
God's plan is a plan of happiness that the world cannot offer.
The Gospel of Luke today presents us the Mary's visit to Elizabeth. This
is such a gentle scene and reflects the very best of humanity. One cousin
going to help an older cousin as she prepares to give birth. Each will
give birth to an important religious figure. It is when we serve others
that we encounter Jesus Christ. It is when we give ourselves in love that
we find that we are loved. It is the simple and ordinary that we find
Let us live these last days of Advent, waiting, serving, loving and
trusting that the Lord is transforming our lives in Christ Jesus.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Micah 5.2-5a
Second Reading: Hebrews 10.5-10
Gospel: Luke 1.39-45
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: