Be not afraid! Fear not! Throughout scripture God assures us that we should not be afraid. Today's readings help us understand why.
In Zechariah, the Prophet promises that God has stirred from “His holy dwelling,” and that God will be with us—not only to watch us and to keep us, but indeed to live in our midst.
The angel Gabriel proclaimed God’s plan to Mary, reassuring her, calming her fears and declaring to her that “nothing will be impossible for God.” What Gabriel told Mary could hardly be grasped by human understanding, but Mary trusted, drew on God's grace within, and overcame her fear, her bewilderment and her troubled mind. The Psalm speaks lyrically of Mary's courage and her “deed of hope” --her willingness to commit herself to a plan that she could not comprehend, a plan that would bring God to dwell among us.
Each day, as we face the unexpected, the unfathomable--those challenges in our homes, in our communities and across the globe that would crush our spirit and invite us to despair, we need only to remember that God is with us, “dwelling in our midst,” a hand on our back. If we draw on God's grace, if we just have courage, if we seek genuine insight, and if we rely on the sustaining hope of God's promise, then we can commit our gifts to God's work here on Earth and we can face down even the very worst. We, too, can live God's promise through our own deeds of hope, for ourselves and for the world. “Be not afraid, only believe.”
Doris DelTosto Brogan
Villanova School of Law
Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus – an arrival or a coming. In the context of the season, Advent means that the Lord is coming. Read more of the Advent introduction...
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent