Fourth Sunday of Advent & Christmas Message


By Fr. Chris Valka, CSB

I don’t know if you have noticed, but God has a rather abrupt way of doing things. Unlike so many of us, God doesn’t ask if now would be a good time; if we could talk about it; or make an appointment – when the time is right, God just acts.

When the Angel appears to Mary, there is no discussion of the plan, there is only what is about to happen. Mary then has a choice – either to accept it with grace or complain and become bitter at the circumstances before her.

Of course, we all know what happens, but sometimes I wonder if I would have been just as gracious? Would I have argued, complained or bartered? I would like to think not, but then again, sometimes we really get thrown a curve ball we didn’t see coming.

How many times have we looked back and realized God saw something in ourselves before we saw it on our own? God knew we were ready, even if you did not know it yourself. It was certainly true for Mary and Joseph, and I believe it is true for each of us.

Are we willing to believe in ourselves the same way God believes in us? Not one of us is perfect, but that is never what God has asked of us. We are simply asked to believe . . . that God will be faithful to the promises which have been made. . . and to be faithful in return.

If God would have asked Mary if she was ready, do we think she would have responded the same way? Or what if God told Joseph all that would happen? Would he have been ready?

Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist, Elizabeth, Zechariah; even the shepherds, were all ready for the task ahead of them, and so are we. Not all at once, mind you – just the next step, which is usually not as big as we think it is.

May you be willing to let yourself been seen this season – they way God sees you. May you have faith – not just in God, but in yourself; and may you have a Merry Christmas and a very blessed New Year.