Friday, December 18, 2015

MARY Full of Grace and Love

Reflections on the Readings

December 20, 2015 - Year C

4th Sunday of Advent

Dennis S. Hankins

Matthew 18:3  

and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, 

"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

MARY Full of Grace and Love

Elizabeth greets the mother of our Lord with these immortal words- "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb".

Choosing to be one with us, God entered our  world through the womb of the virgin Mary.

Many sermons this Christmas season will claim: "But Jesus was born to die", a forlorn look at the incarnation. Let us remember that Elizabeth did not say, "Doomed is the fruit of your womb."  Confined to the flesh of our humanity, God was in Christ to show us that it is possible to live in the power of love's pure light. Jesus, the light of the world, reveals the God who is love; he ate and drank with sinners and at the marriage celebration in Cana, he turned the water into wine.

We can be grateful to a very young teenager, whose name is Mary, that she willingly said yes, "be it unto me according to your word".  

The Son of God is not a victim of God's love, but rather he is the love of God incarnate of the virgin Mary. And as the creed states:  He came down from heaven for us men and for our salvation.  If God was mad at us, there would not be a Christmas to celebrate. As it is, the sights and sounds of Christmas, the glorious revelation of faith, hope, and love, and the greatest celebration of Christmas is that of love, a love that caresses the brow of the orphan and condemns the murderous violence of gangs.

God is not a God of violence, but rather he stepped into our world and became the object  of violent hatred and scorn. So, my friend, God is love wrapped in human flesh and was born of the virgin Mary.  This is the old, old story of infinite delight and imperishable truth.  He excludes no one from His love and receives everyone who comes to Him. Let us receive this King of love and each other as brothers and sisters in His kingdom. For His kingdom rests upon his shoulders, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.  For His kingdom is an imperishable kingdom of hope and love.  

In this prayer that is prayed everyday by Catholics, let us pray also:  Hail, Mary, full of grace, blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of our Redeemer, pray for us that we might say yes as fully as you did.  May Jesus who heals us, forgives us, and redeems us, fill our hearts as he filled Mary's womb.  Amen! 

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