December 18, 2011

The four Sundays of Advent celebrate four things: hope, peace, joy and love. These are “religious” sounding words, but the truth behind them applies to each and every aspect of our lives. When we live without hope, then know how valuable it is and how vulnerable we are. When things are in an uproar, we know how valuable peace is. When our lives are consumed with problems and negativities, we yearn for the joy that is missing. Claiming these things in worship enables us to better claim them in life.

This Sunday, we will look at love. We will listen for how it sounds in the real world. We will seek to reach out and touch it. Love, as abstract as it sounds, is one of the most tangible and necessary ingredients for living a “shalom-filled” life. This Sunday, our model for love will be Mother Mary. Her love for God meant yielding to the mystery of God, accepting what God offered her, and rising to the challenge. The theme for this Sunday, from the living witness of Mary, is how to lovingly surrender to the Will of God, no matter what our lot in life. Mary is the prototype for our “Thy-will-be-done” prayer.