Throughout the Advent Season of 2020, each one of the four members of the International Vincentian Family Office will offer a brief video reflection about our present reality and the path of hope that leads to a future in which the birth of the Lord illuminates the present-day reality.
Fourth Sunday of Advent!
Here we are at the Fourth Sunday of Advent! Like every year, we’re wondering how did this season arrive so quickly? How did we arrive at this point so fast? Where did the time go? It seems as if it was just yesterday when we celebrated the feast of the Annunciation.
Luke’s Gospel recalls the Annunciation story. And now, nine months later, we hear the same story this Fourth Sunday of Advent, the same Gospel story. Never old, ever so new.
And why is this Season so very different than any other Advent? Is it the newness of a locked down world? Is it the uncertainty of COVID19 as it continues to be? Is it the unknowing? The guessing? The reminder how fragile our lives and our deaths are? Is it having nowhere to go, much less nowhere truly safe?
All this unknowing, all this uncertainty. Was it like this 2,000 years ago, was it like this 100 years ago, and in the midst of all of this, Luke ends his Gospel in this Sunday’s readings with for nothing will be impossible for God.
This is true today as it was 2,000 years ago, everything is possible with God!
One of my favorite quotes of all times is:
“The hour of the Annunciation is the hour of miracles if ever there was one, but then……… comes the days, the months, the years to live out this “yes”.
These days we are living are days, hours, months, the years of miracles. These times cause us to look anew at the miracles around us. They challenge us to look for the hope in the miracles around us: of birth, of waiting, of death, of the promise of eternal life. All of this wrapped into this SEASON of ADVENT, this SEASON of WAITING. And now we are coming to its conclusion.
Just lately, I learned of this ADVENT POEM by John of the Cross, a 16th century contemporary probably of our own St. Vincent de Paul.
It’s called an ADVENT POEM
If you want, the virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the Holy and say:
“I need shelter for the night.
please take me inside your heart, My time is close.”
Then under the roof of your soul,
You will witness the sublime intimacy,
The divine, the Christ, taking birth forever,
as she grasps your hand for help,
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us.
Yes, there, under the dome of your being,
Does creation come into existence eternally
through your womb, dear pilgrim
-the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help:
for each of us is His beloved servant, never far.
If you want, the Virgin will come
walking down the street
pregnant with Light and sing.
Our own St. Vincent de Paul at the same time reminds us of Christmas. He invites us to join him at the crib. He says
“We have no news except that of the coming Mystery, Which will show us the Savior of the world annihilated, as it were, under the form of a child. I hope we will be together at the foot of His crib to ask Him to draw us with Him into His lowly state.”
And we can say with the days, the hours, the months, the years of this miracle of miracles: Merry Christmas!