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Fourth Sunday of Advent- Our Lady of Advent

Posted: 18 Dec 2016

When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:18

As Christians we can learn much from the example of Mary about how to approach our Advent days. She is a living image of how to prepare oneself for Christmas. The presence of the Mother of God can be felt quietly in our hearts as we make our tiny efforts to walk the Advent journey in her company. Our Lady is the perfect companion in the journey toward meeting Christ, her beloved Son, for she is the humble servant who carries him within. From the moment she receives the good news from the Archangel Gabriel about the mission God intended for her, she accepts her role with utter humility and simplicity. She does not attribute anything to herself. She simply obeys God’s plan for her and submits entirely to the work of God’s Holy Spirit. When Gabriel arrives at her modest home in Nazareth, he finds a humble maiden waiting, ready to accept whatever the Lord’s design holds for her. 

After the Archangel delivers his message she tells him: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word (Luke 1:38)”.She demands nothing from God’s messenger. On the contrary, she accepts everything expected of her and in return she receives everything by the power of the Holy Spirit. The great mystery is accomplished in her, and the Word becomes flesh in her by taking her own flesh. The, the Son of God the Most High becomes also the Son of Mary, the humble maid. She who was poor, quiet, and totally empty of herself now possesses all: God himself. From now on, thousands of generations shall call her blessed. 

Our Lady of Advent is without any doubt a unique model of how to embrace and love the true Advent spirit as we continue our road to Christmas. She lived her own Advent for nine months, a longer period than our short four weeks. She also lived  it in greater intimacy, for he whom we expect to come dwelled within her, and she nourished and cared for him with unsurpassed love. The lowly, prayerful, humble, quiet waiting attitude exercised by our Lady during her own Advent exemplifies what all our Advent days should be like. In the midst of the noisy and chaotic Christmas preparations we encounter in today’s world, the example of the Mother of God stands apart from all its false, haughty, glittering,selfish, or superficial.

Mary’s presence in our midst, radiating a serene beauty through her silence, her acceptance, and total submission to God’s plan, speaks volumes  to each and every one of us. We, too, are called to accept God’s personal plans for our lives and surrender to him. We, too, are called to better our lives not once, but many times as the Lord reveals his will in our daily lives.  Like our Lady, we must live our own submissions to the Lord with complete simplicity, humility, and trust in his plan for us.

Of her flesh he took flesh:

He does take fresh and fresh,

Though much the mystery how,

Not flesh but spirit now

And makes, O marvellous!

New Nazareths in us,

Where she shall yet conceive

Him, morning, noon, and eve;

New Bethlems, and he born

There, evening, noon, and morn.

Gerard Manley Hopkins


Br. Victor-Antoine D’Avila-Latourette
“Monastry Journey to Christmas”
Copyright 2011
Liguori Publications
Liguori, Missouri 63057