On this last Sunday of Advent we hear the final half of the Annunciation story, where Mary goes to her cousin Elizabeth and John the Baptist leaps in Elizabeth’s womb at the sound of Mary’s voice. We don’t have the Blessed Mother walking into our presence, but do the words of today’s scriptures cause us to leap for joy?
It may seem like an eternity ago, but having Fr. Gene here for our parish mission was an opportunity for all of us to consider many things; do we consider ourselves and one another very good, are we happy with meekness, humility and mourning, do we recognize the Eucharist and our relationship with God as something that is loving and not to be fearful of? All that Fr. Gene spoke of was meant to help us focus our attention on God’s love for us in our lives and how we respond to that love. The scriptures this weekend speak of God’s love coming to us and how we should respond to that love in the gift of Jesus.
In this final week of Advent, it can be easy to lose sight of what is important. As the final Advent candle is lit, we focus on love. Love is to be our focus in this final week. Mary carried God’s love in her womb, we carry God’s love in the Eucharist.
It may be easier said than done, but this week try not to let stress and anxiety take over. Instead focus on the love of this week. As a parish we have had such an exciting and busy Advent season, and all of it has been great. We have a final week of opportunities to avail ourselves of Eucharistic Adoration and Confessions on Tuesday from 7 – 8pm. We have the opportunity to help make our church beautiful for Christmas by helping to decorate and lend a helping hand on Tuesday from 5 – 8pm in the church. Many hands help to make the process go smoother and quicker!
Lastly, as we make our final preparations for Christmas, be sure to take the time to take your final inventory on what is most important; real relationships. The best way to celebrate this week is making sure you spend time with the newborn King at Mass, spend time with family, friends and invest in them.
I pray that this final week of Advent helps you to encounter the love of the season. If you are traveling for Christmas, I pray that you travel safe, enjoy your time and relationships while away, but that you return more blessed because of the experience of love at Christmas. If you’re joining us at St. Mary’s for Christmas, I can’t wait to see you later this week!