Fourth Sunday of Advent

Peace and blessings to you from Our Lord Jesus Christ!

We have finally come to the last Sunday of our Christmas preparations. Our journey has seemed short. The rhythm of various parish activities added a different flavor to our preparations this year. The Women’s Retreat was a spiritual success, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Festivities brought a lot of our parishioners back to the parish, and the Staff Day of Prayer on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception called us to a deeper consciousness of our roles as collaborators in the mission of Jesus at Saint Jerome. Keep watch lest our busy-ness take us away from the most significant message of Christmas. God has visited His people to provide for us His company amid loneliness brought upon us by our hiding from Him.

The Fall in the Garden isolated Adam and Eve from God. The realization of their nakedness brought shame, a sense of insufficiency and insecurity; it disturbed the order of the Divine relationship with them. Pride and disobedience separated them from Him. Their sin created a chasm that requires a bridge that will restore the Divine connection with them. Love is that connection because God is Love. It is the same love that brought Adam and Eve into existence. The Fall brought Adam a feeling of abandonment, not by God; but rather, his experience of abandonment was a consequence of his own decision to see himself like a god, acting self-sufficiently independently of God. As descendants of Adam and Eve, we share their history. Our human frailties and the concupiscence brought to us by original sin remains our struggle. We constantly fall and yet we are never completely broken. We also hide from God and yet only for a while, for we long for His presence. But God never abandons His people. He offered us hope through the prophets, and He Has proven His love through the Incarnation of His Son Jesus, who is God-With-Us.

Where do we go from here? Let us allow the love of God to find us, especially in prayer and in the Sacraments. When we are feeling alone, let us seek the company of the One who has loved us first. When we are feeling abandoned, let us call upon name of the One who calls us out of darkness. When we are feeling isolated, let us allow the presence of God to envelope our entire being with the certainty of His care. For, after all, this is the meaning of Christmas. God has visited His people to prove His faithfulness to us. In Him alone is our confidence. The mystery of the Incarnation assures us that we are precious in the eyes of the One who made us. Like Mary in our Gospel reading this weekend, we are blessed as we continue to look upon God’s promise of salvation – Jesus. Let Mary’s Magnificat also be our song of praise to the One who is coming to us to eradicate the spell of darkness from our lives.

I am looking forward to celebrating the Mystery of Christmas with you next weekend.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,