December 22, 2019

Fourth Sunday of Advent

…called to belong to Jesus Christ; …called to be holy.

Christmas draws near. There is an excitement in the liturgy this weekend. We are told how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. Is this a dream to deliver Joseph from his anguish over the news of his betrothed’s pregnancy?

The culmination of advent looks to the prophet Isaiah. In the weariness of our world today, we look into the darkness for deliverance. The earth suffers from an increase of calamities. Are these the signs that the end is near? Or rather, do we look for the sign of the virgin who bore for us a son named Emmanuel?

The sign given us that makes the incarnation of Christ present in us is our memorial of the Paschal Mystery. The Holy Spirit comes upon the gifts of the earth and the labor of our lives to make them into the sacrament that speaks of God with us.

St. Peter Julian tells us: “Jesus was born in Bethlehem, house of bread. It is a temporal birth to reach the spiritual birth in our souls, where it is conceived by the faith of holy baptism. Hence, this admirable definition of the Eucharist by the Church Fathers: an extension of the incarnation. Jesus Christ is incarnating and living in humanity.”

(A Thought for Every Day, pg. 137)

Is the joy of Christmas rooted in the Holy Spirit, and the divine life incarnated in your flesh through baptism? Take time in adoration to be with Joseph in his dream. Listen to the angel, “…you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Christmas needs to be more than a holiday. It is a call from God to apostleship, to bring about obedience of faith, for the sake of his name.

Let us pray:

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by his passion and cross be brought to the glory of his resurrection, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About William Fickel, SSS