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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Reflection 2020-12-21 Monday Fourth Week of Advent

Zephaniah 3:14-18; Psalm 33; Luke 1:39-45
The First Reading is a statement that: the Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst, you shall fear disaster no more. This is very applicable these days of pandemic. God promises restoration and healing. God says: you shall fear disaster no more. This does not mean there will be no disaster, it means we will not be afraid of it when it comes. The First Reading continues and gives us the reason why we are not to be afraid: the Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.
God is in our midst so nothing should shake us. He gives victory, which means there will be troubles, there will be disasters, there will be fears, but through them all, God leads us to victory, because he is in our midst! There is no need to fear because God renews us in his love. God is the God of second chances and he can replace what we have lost, if we turn back to him.
This is the sense of the Gospel Reading today. When Mary visited Elizabeth, and Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. The presence of God gives us joy, even if we do not see it. Hearing the voice of our Lady gives joy, because we know that she brings with her the Son of God. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed in a loud cry… Blesses is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord. This blessing is not only for Mary, but for us: we are blessed if we believe that God will fulfill what he said to us through his Word. This Word is not only Scripture, but the Person of Jesus Christ, who is identified as God with us, the God who is in our midst. And how do we know God is in our midst? When we repent and call out to him.
It is not enough to call on God, because God will not hear us if we are in a state of mortal sin. We need to repent so we can be reconciled with God, and he will fulfill his Word.
Lord, I believe you can do what you promised. I believe you will hear me if I reconciled with you. Here I am. I turn from my sins. I reject my sins, the things that turn me away from you. I turn back to you and ask you to forgive me. Come Lord into my life, and make me whole again. Lead me to the victory you have planned for me.

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