During this past week, we celebrated the Immaculate Conception. Mary, as a model of faith, helps us to look at how we are called to live our “yes” to God. When the angel first approaches her, she has some fear and reluctance about being the mother of God. If we are afraid or hesitant, we are less likely to say “yes.” The miracle of Mary is that while she is afraid and hesitant, she knows that her call is to live the ways of God. She makes her “fiat” or “yes” to God. She trusts that she will receive the grace necessary to do what God asks.
At our Baptism, God poured forth His grace upon us. The readings on this third weekend of Advent give good advice how to live this grace that has been poured forth upon us. “He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD.” Do I have the grace to tend to those who fit this description? How have I responded to the opportunity to be generous to those in need as I prepare for Christmas? Might I respond to the Advent Memory and Music opportunity? To live our Baptism is to say “yes” to the needs of the poor, brokenhearted and bring freedom to those oppressed.
The second reading gives further suggestions. “In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.” Have we received the grace of discernment? What are the things that are our blessings? As we approach Christmas, how has God blessed us? How do we recognize that God is visiting us and salvation is coming to our home? Have we been reconciled? Do we understand what is good and turn away from what is evil? If we are to know joy, then we must live the will of God. Have we learned the will of God in this time of Advent?
We again return to Mary. She was a model of discipleship. She chose to become the mother of Jesus because she was willing to do it according to God’s word. We have received good advice on how to live the salvation brought by Jesus. Are we saying “yes” to the grace that guides us to live God’s will like Mary?
Sharing news about the parish . . .
Diocesan Annual Appeal – Consider a Christmas gift to help us reach our Appeal target. We have $28,461 in cash, pledges of $43,938. To reach our target, we need still need over $55,000. Are you willing to help us accomplish this goal?
Advent Communal Reconciliation Service: Saturday, December 13, 10:00 a.m.
Reminder – Christmas Schedule: On December 24, 4:00 p.m. – Children’s Mass in Main Church (No Mass in McKillip Hall), 6:30 p.m. – Main Church, 10:00 p.m. – Main church with carols before Mass starting at 9:30 p.m. On December 25, 9:30 a.m. – Main Church, 11:30 a.m. – Main Church, Hmong Mass.
May the blessings of God be showered upon you this week!