Isaiah 7: 10-14
“…Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.”
Psalm 24: 1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6 “…The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it...”
Luke 1: 26-38 “…Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’…”
St. Dominic of Silos (1000 – 1073), born in Navarre Spain to a poor family, he tended the flocks of his father’s fields and grew to love the solitude. He was known for restoring life and promise to the monastery of St. Sebastian at Silos.
The reading in our gospel today repeats that of the Dec. 8th, Immaculate Conception reading. It is the story of how Jesus first became human, of how one of us said yes to being part of God’s plan. How many times does life not make sense? It couldn’t have made sense for Mary that day. But Mary showed us how to accept the Will of God, to take the unexplainable in stride, even if it will cost us dearly.
But through a stroke of Grace, while driving in today, I got another perspective on Jesus’ Yes. With Mary’s yes, Jesus’ yes could now be fulfilled and today we recognize His arrival in Mary’s womb. I was fortunate today to hear an interview of Gospel singer Matthew West on KVSS, our local Catholic radio station. Among other things, Matthew talked about his lifelong love of the Christmas season. We heard about how an idea came to him during a summer vacation with his family. The idea was about what Jesus must have thought when he was asked to come to earth, leaving paradise with its streets of gold. Knowing the chaos here it’s hard to imagine why Jesus would come here, leaving the order of heaven. Matthew titled the song, “Leaving Heaven” and it’s on his album - “The Heart of Christmas”. To give you a sense of where his thoughts led him to write the song, here is a line that is repeated more than once, “So, if you ever wonder how much you’re worth you should know that you’re the reason why I’m leaving heaven.” The song is a great reflection on the gift of Emmanuel, God with Us; for me, it offered a new perspective.
In our reading from Isaiah God tells the people to look for the sign, “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.” As we spend time today remembering the story of God becoming Man and dwelling with us, let us forget our troubles and turn to Emmanuel, God with Us (still). Then as He reached out to us, let us reach out to one another. Let us shine our light as Matthew West says in his song “the world is dark and it needs a light”. Peace - Happy Advent.