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Fourth Sunday of Advent 2018

Frances MacDougall, CND

As we draw near to the Christmas season, we are invited to reflect on the PROMISES of God. 

I invite you to begin by reflecting on someone in your life whom you trust because that person always does what she/he promises. A person who is known to keep promises is reliable. We trust such a person. When we live with trustworthy persons, it helps us to feel secure. 

In today’s first reading from the prophet Micah, God promises that the Savior will come from the small tribe which settled in the insignificant town of Bethlehem. In the midst of many difficulties, a small remnant of the people believed that God would keep God’s promises. 

In Luke’s Gospel, we meet Elizabeth and Zechariah, members of that remnant, who wake up each morning expectantly awaiting the fulfillment of God’s promises. They see their hope fulfilled in their son, John, who is to prepare the way for Jesus, the One from Bethlehem.

This Gospel passage, describing Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, is very familiar to all of us as followers of Marguerite Bourgeoys.  Mary hurries to visit Elizabeth, as she has been told that Elizabeth, in her advanced age, is expecting a child - “for nothing is impossible to God”. It is a time of great blessing – witnessing to the fulfillment of the promises of God. A Savior is to be born! In founding our non-cloistered community, Marguerite chose the Visitation as the inspiration for our charism. In imitation of Mary, she wants us to be of service to others in their time of need. 

As the Advent season draws to a close, let us find some silent time to give thanks. We thank God for the gift of faith. We thank God for the security we feel because we believe in the promises of God. We thank Mary for her “yes” to God. We thank Marguerite for choosing the Visitation as the inspiration for our lives of service.

In the spirit of the season, let us visit someone in need and assure them “nothing is impossible to God”. Filled with joy, let us celebrate together the birth of Jesus and pray for the people of Bethlehem!


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