Gran Couva/Tabaquite Christmas dinner
December 20, 2018
A word for the wise in 2019… #ridonkulous
December 21, 2018

Fourth Sunday of Advent (C)

True disciples focus on God’s will

LUKE 1:39–45

The Gospel narrates quite vividly, that after the Annunciation, Mary went in haste to visit Elizabeth. This is a typical example of how disciples ought to discharge their function: with great haste and enthusiasm.

Thus, Mary clearly demonstrated that she is, above all, the true handmaid and dedicated servant of the Lord. Although she was fully cognisant that she was highly favoured and specially chosen by God, it did not deter her from going quickly to visit Elizabeth. Most of all, she did so with genuine concern and diligence.

It is noteworthy to mention that Mary was absolutely focused even while experiencing tremendous gladness. She was acutely aware that Elizabeth was in need and thus rendered her kind assistance, that is to say, she listened attentively and thoughtfully to the voice of God.

This is one of the chief purposes of Advent. It provides us with an avenue to properly listen to the voice of God, even when He asks us to perform seemingly difficult and impossible tasks.

As we celebrate the fourth Sunday of Advent, let us be true and ardent disciples of God. Let us try to maintain our focus on Jesus, just as Mary was always concerned with doing the will of the Father, even in impossible circumstances.

Like Mary, we need to be more self-giving and less self-centred. Remember that she allowed nothing to distract her, not even the great and outstanding news that she received at the Annunciation.

Proverbs 10:4 cautions us that: “A slack hand brings poverty, but the hand of the diligent brings wealth”. Thus, we pray that Jesus would always make us diligent in discharging His duties and being good followers. Further, we ask Him to help us store up that wealth and treasure in heaven.

Proverbs 13:4, also mentions that: “The idler hungers but has no food; hard workers get their fill.” Again we pray that Jesus would always fill and saturate us with the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Very often, during the season of Advent, we sing the hymn, “Christ come quickly, there is danger at the door”. If we wish Christ to come quickly, it means that we ought to have a corresponding obligation to respond to Him in a similar fashion. Hence, we pray in Psalm 70:1, that the Almighty would: “Be pleased, to rescue me and come quickly and help me”.

Certainly, God does not delay in answering us, and Luke 18:7–8 reminds us of this fact: “Now, will not God see justice done to his elect if they keep calling to him day and night even though he still delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily.”

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, we ask pardon for the numerous occasions when we were slothful and sloppy in doing our daily chores. We failed to direct and guide others along the straight and narrow path. We were indifferent, cold and callous to our neighbours. We lacked motivation, zeal and courage and refused to consult You and ask for assistance.

Father we ask You to please forgive us, of all our sins and wrongdoings. With gratitude we thank You for those who encouraged us to be diligent in our duties. They refused to accept mediocrity and challenged us to give of our very best.

When we wanted to procrastinate, they pushed us to do our tasks quickly. They were firm that we should be punctual and regular, to meet deadlines on time. Further, they urged us to exercise our tasks with great joy, like the Blessed Virgin Mary. Hence, Lord, we ask You, to richly and abundantly bless and keep them safely in Your care.

We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.

The Gospel Meditations for December were by Fr Gabriel Julien, a diocesan priest.