Today is the Fourth Sunday of advent in preparation for Christmas. Today’s Gospel recounts a remarkable event, a turning point in human history, when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Today also, we ponder and pay particular attention to Mary, the Mother of God. She is the best example of what it means to prepare the way of the Lord. She welcomed and accepted the will of God for her. Mary has a desire to provide a beautiful dwelling place for God.
The prophetic messages came to fulfillment. By faith Mary welcomes the tidings and promises brought by the Angel Gabriel believing that ‘with God nothing will be impossible.’ She accepted the message: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary Blessed.
We need faith, we must believe, we must pray. Though cloud, rain, and storm have filled our lives at times; we must still believe that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken by the Lord.
Saint Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1, 20 “For in him everyone of God’s promises is a ‘YES.’ For this reason it is through him that we say ‘Amen’ to the glory of God.”
Today in Luke’s Gospel, the Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Mary and Joseph find themselves in an impossible situation, yet, they chose the way of faith, to believe what was said. They humbled themselves and obeyed the Lord; They stand as a model of advent faith for us. Mary did exactly what the Angel told her. We have all found favor in the Lord and should not be afraid to say ‘Yes, and Amen.’ We are to choose the way of faith and trust.
We are encouraged to open our hearts in faith to Jesus, who comes to us through Mary. Like Mary and Joseph we must put aside every fear and doubt, in order to welcome Christ into our homes. Our encounter with God should help us to grow in our spiritual life and build our faith.
Let’s continue to reflect who we are in our mission statement by following Christ’s example, to seek through a variety of ministries, to know, love and serve God and one another, and to extend our prayer and stewardship to the missions in the spirit of all the Saints.” Amen.
God is good…all the time.
God bless you.
Fr. Daniel E. Ogbeifun