Tag Archives: Fourth Sunday of Advent;

Fourth Sunday of Advent

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 4th Sunday of Advent: CLICK HERE!

When we were in English Class we all learned about conjunctions.  As we all know, a conjunction is a connecting word used to join words, phrases, sentences and clauses…

But do you know what the Great Conjunction is?

Astronomers use the word conjunction to describe the meetings of planets and other objects in our sky’s dome.  And they use the phrase the Great Conjunction to describe the meeting of the two biggest worlds in our solar system: Jupiter and Saturn.

This Monday, December 21, 2020, these two planets will be closely aligned and this Great Conjunction will look like an elongated star. Don’t miss it, shortly after sunset on Monday. (Sunset is 4:30 pm; Look before 7 pm)

Conjunctions happen every 20 years. But the last Great Conjunction happened in 1623. With the closet observable one happening in 1226.

This Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn has been referred to by some as the Star of Bethlehem, or The Christmas Star.

This Great Conjunction may have been what the shepherds saw in the sky that Christmas 2,000 years ago…  The Kings/Magi from the East followed…

And in the case of the shepherds and the kings, what was important was not what they saw, but rather what the great light in the sky points us toward: the birth of Jesus… the Light of the World!   Emmanuel:  God with us!

Something that King David was reminded of as we hear in our reading from Samuel today, “that night the Lord spoke to Nathan, and said, ‘Go tell my servant David {that’s King David} I have been with you wherever you went.”

With Christmas a few days away, what does the birth of Christ mean for each of us, for our family, for our Church…  As the world in which we live today confronts the Coronavirus Pandemic, political divisiveness and experience various social ills.

We too are being reminded that the Spirit of God, has been and continues to be with us wherever we are.

May we too continue to recognize the signs that God shares with us DAILY, that point us to God with us and among us always.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

To watch Father Joe’s homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent: CLICK HERE!

This Fourth Week of Advent is surprising short this year.  It starts today and ends today!  After all it is already Christmas Eve.

And hopefully this will not distract us from hearing, from listening to just one idea, one message that we might glean from today’s Readings.

As we hear in the Gospel, Mary is the perfect model of receptivity, to openness to God’s will.

Maybe you saw the video playing in the Gathering Area before Mass (or can see it after Mass).  In the video, done by Southland Christian Church, children tell their version of the story about the birth of Christ.  Of Mary they say, “She was doing laundry” and the angel came to her.  The children then say of Mary, “She said ‘no way, I am too young, I am a teenager.’”  (To check out the adorable video: CLICK HERE!)

Yet as we know, Mary did listen to the angel, Gabriel, and the rest is salvation history, as they say.

Mary listened with her heart, listened with a heart of faith.  Mary’s YES changed her life, the life of all generations and ours for the better, not just for a time, but for eternity.

You know God comes to us, speaks to us, in so many ways.  Think about it, only God could dream up a plan to save the world by starting with young Mary of Nazareth.

Just maybe the message we are invited to ponder today is that the Creator of the Universe wants to be with US.  Our Gospel writer wants us to listen for God’s word that is directed to each of us and all of us.

A message Heaven is hoping we will respond to – know that with God, with the Holy Spirit active in our lives, nothing is impossible!

Fourth Sunday of Advent

On Friday, Father Dan Dwyer of the Busted Halo Show interviewed the author of the new book entitled: “Listen – Love – Repeat; Other Centered Living in a Self-Centered World.”

And if you think about it, the individual and collective story of Mary and Joseph came down to their listening to God, their listening to a Messenger from God – an Angel, as well as a deep faith as they did what God asked, not just what they “thought” they should do.

I hope we can appreciate, just a bit, the enormous difficulty that Mary and Joseph were “engaged” in.  Yet they chose God’s plan.  They chose love of God and love of the other.

I would suggest that the message we are being asked to hear today and to incorporate into our everyday lives is a message to live lives that are increasingly “less self-centered.”

Like Mary and Joseph, it all begins with listening (reflection/prayer).

Put another way, what is God and how is God asking me/us to bring His presence to an ever waiting world and people.

As we anticipate Christmas in a week, may we listen a bit more and love in action a bit more, living not just for one’s self, but living for others and then repeating the process, again and again into the New Year and beyond.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Readings:      Micah 5:1-4;     Hebrews 10:5-10;     Luke 1:39-45


In reflecting upon today’s Gospel, I would suggest it offers us a model of friendship rooted in a shared Faith.  For Mary, too inexperienced, and Elizabeth, too old, there could be no rational expectation that God’s promises would be fulfilled through them: “you will bear a son.”  (One a great prophet: John the Baptist; one the Son of God: Jesus.  Talk about have famous relatives!)

And like the people of yesterday; so today we would probably say – impossible.  And so it was and so it is, but Mary and Elizabeth knew that they could not accomplish it by themselves, they did not limit God to their own ability or expectations.  They were empty enough to become full of grace – “God’s Grace.”

Makes you wonder if we are empty enough to become “full of grace” – God’s Grace… as we live our lives here on earth.  My guess is we are empty to some degree… and working on allowing God’s Grace to enter our lives, more and more and more.

Do not be discouraged.  “Be not afraid!”

Each day, do what you can, to allow God’s Spirit to enter your life as person, family and Parish, knowing that “nothing is impossible with God.”

Be ready to rejoice in the adventure ahead, just as Elizabeth and Mary did!