December 19, 2020

Today’s readings face us with two annunciation stories: the first to Samson’s mother and the second to John the Baptist’s father. Each proclaims the birth of a son to people who were otherwise unable to have children. Both children would be Nazirites, committed to serving the Lord. During this Advent season, they also presage the annunciation to Mary about her son’s birth (tomorrow’s gospel).

The readings are more than historical lore. They reveal that we live now in the age of the Spirit. We are invited to wait patiently and to ponder the meaning of God coming into our world, keeping ourselves open to the implications of the birth of Jesus for us. Hopefully, we have done so in Advent thus far. These readings are especially appropriate for Advent—they imply the importance of trust while waiting and anticipation, both virtues required by this season.

Waiting (and its cousin, patience), however, are not virtues that we are very good at for the most part; we want things now! With Christmas almost upon us, we still have the means of deepening the appreciation of our God-with-us. Every time we celebrate Mass, we experience the coming of the Lord sacramentally. Jesus now comes to us in the form of bread and wine so that he may fill us with himself and transform what could be the sadness of the pandemic that still afflicts us with the consolation of his Spirit. We are assured that God has ever been ready to answer our prayers and to fulfill our hopes. Christ reminds us of the depth of God’s love as well as of his promise to remain with us till the end of time.

How deep is my trust in God’s love?

Let Us Pray:

O loving God, deepen within me an appreciation for the mystery of the incarnation of your Son. May it ever fill me with a gratitude that manifests itself in reflecting your love to the world in which I live.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.