Advent 2013

Third Friday in Advent - December 20th

Is 7: 10-14 / Ps 24: 1-6 / Lk 1: 26-38

For nothing is impossible with God."

This single sentence demands the ultimate faith in God. It is a short sentence but a profound acknowledgement that God is the Lord and master of all and that when we place ourselves in His care he can perform miracles beyond human imagination.

It is often said that the greatest love is to sacrifice one’s own life for another person. We believe that Jesus became man and died -- suffered a horrible and bloody death – to save mankind.  But there is more – He rose on the third day as we recall every Easter. The consequence of the birth, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus is salvation of mankind. 

Like the Old Testament prophets, the four Gospels recount miraculous events associated with the birth of Jesus. As we celebrate this Advent we look forward to the Birth of Christ and focus on the events which marked the most important day in human history. 

Jesus is true God and true man but His conception and birth are unlike any other birth in history.  And St. Luke’s account provides important detail for our reflection.

The key to this reading is Mary’s unqualified acceptance based upon her faith and trust in God. She accepts that the angel is God’s messenger – the spokesman who conveys the frightening and challenging message. She was visited by an angel who told her that she, among all women, was chosen to be the Mother of God. There was no hesitation, no equivocation, no delay, and no negotiation.  Rather, Mary’s response was unqualified acceptance and love. She asked but one question of the angel and received two answers. She was told that the power of God through the Holy Spirit would come upon her and cause the virgin birth of Jesus. The angel also stated that as a tangible sign, God announced the pregnancy of Mary’s older cousin, Elizabeth who had not conceived during a lengthy marriage. Of course, Elizabeth’s son was John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus. It was John’s ministry, baptism with water and martyrdom that foreshadowed the public ministry of Jesus. 

The message is that God’s love provides great opportunities and challenges. It takes great courage not to question God’s motives and intentions but we must have faith that God has important things planned for us and our unqualified acceptance of those opportunities may present earthy challenges but eternal rewards. 

Elizabeth Brennan
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences – Class of 2013