4th Sunday of Advent

12-18-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

An entire town is wiped out by fire, a tornado rips through several neighborhoods, a bomb claims a maternity hospital and a sudden heart attack takes the life of a soul mate. Life is unpredictable and dramatic. Many buy into the sad illusion that the securities and familiarities we see around us today will remain forever: our homes, our friends, our spouses, our churches, and even our health. We are stunned and shaken by a sudden change, finding ourselves bewildered, mortified, and even embittered. We do not like change, especially change driven by sources beyond our control. Are there any guarantees in life? We often live as if our lives come with lifetime warranties. When they break, they can be fixed or replaced. Such is not the case. Many things are irreplaceable and unable to be fixed. During life’s inevitable chaos, God says: “Do not be afraid.” Seriously? How can one not be afraid when things are falling apart?

Fear is normal and it has a purpose. It is unrealistic, and somewhat unhealthy, to strive to live without any fear. Fear teaches us lessons and can be a catalyst to discovering more profound things. What we do with fear and how we understand it is critical. Fear can either cripple us or move us forward. God does not want fear to cripple us. If we look around at all that can change in our lives and consider what we might have to do, we can easily wallow in the mire of self-misery. Or we can step up to the challenge, as Mary did, and do what needs doing! We can stand tall, as did Joseph, and do the right and just thing What gives us this courage? Faith.

God is with us. This is the focus of our Advent preparations. We need to be reminded that we are not in this alone. God not only made us and loves us, but God keeps us! In the person of Jesus Christ, God is the sign we need to persevere! Do not be afraid and do not be unbelieving! Hold fast to what God has done in giving us His only begotten Son. We do not have to anxiously attempt to control life’s unpredictability. God has blessed us with the birth of His Son. Trust that He is with us and will not abandon us, even in death.