4th Sunday of Advent .

Scripture Readings: Luke 1:26-38

R.H. Benson starts today’s reflection thus: “Life is nothing but a play and a pretence, and His will must be done, however much we rebel at it.”St Thomas Aquinas complements in these words, “A man’s heart is light when he wills what God wills.” Welcome to the fourth Sunday of Advent, our final day of preparation before Christmas. As we prepare for Christmas, God wants to make a dwelling in us. God wants us to give consent to His divine plan. Mary’s fiat was not a “one-time-only” consent. It was repeated throughout her life as she learned to listen to the Holy Spirit, to be docile to the Spirit’s movements, and to let Him teach her how to raise her Son and followed Him as perfectly as she did.

As St. Pope John Paul II wrote about her: “Mary, who conceived the Incarnate Word by the power of the Holy Spirit and then in the whole of her life allowed herself to be guided by His interior activity, will be contemplated and imitated. …above all as the woman who was docile to the voice of the Spirit, a woman of silence and attentiveness, a woman of hope” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 48). What exactly is a handmaid? It is a servant. Mary did not consider herself a queen or a princess or anyone of great importance; rather a servant – a servant of the Lord. What a beautiful example for us. Hopefully we can see ourselves as handmaids of the Lord as well.

Whatever He asks us to do, let us happily do. Through the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to love and follow Jesus as His disciples today and to carry His love to others. Like Mary, we can bring Christ into the world through our prayer, love, and docility to the Holy Spirit. Let us pray today, that we might be God’s servants, that we might be instruments of God’s love for our families and all that we meet this week. St. Francis de Sales concludes our reflection in these words, “Blessed are they who do not their own will on earth, for God will do it in heaven above.”

MASS: VIOLET: 2 Sam. 7: 1-5. 8b-12. 14a. 16; Ps 89: 2-3. 4-5. 27 and 29(R. 2a); Rom 16:25-27; Lk 1: 26-38 4TH SUNDAY OFADVENT

Prayer Points:

1. Father, like Mary, I am your handmaid. I want to do only what You ask of me. Give me the grace and strength to participate actively in the 21-day fasting and prayers programme starting on the 2nd of January, 2018.

2. Pray for a spirit-filled Christmas celebration and safe trip for all travelling.

3. Pray against any evil plans against you and your family as you prepare for Christmas.

4. Pray for the spirit to share the joy of the season with the less privilege

5. Father, strength me to partake in the forthcoming 21-dayfasting and prayers starting on the 2ndof January, 2018. I beseech You to help me to be part of it in Jesus name.

Exercise: Visit the old people’s home or orphanage as DSD charity group

Meditation: Romans 16: 27