Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fourth Sunday in Advent

This weekend is the fourth Sunday in Advent. Christmas is so close.  In the Gospel readings we hear Mary is going to visit Elizabeth. Elizabeth is pregnant with John. When Mary arrives  John leaps in Elizabeth's womb. Elizabeth knows she is the mother of the Lord.

Luke 1:43 - 45  And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

Recently at a class at church we were talking about this reading. A comment was made that I really liked.
"Elizabeth was the one person who believed in Mary at first."

When we are burdened, down or moving in a direction in life we are not sure of and it seems no one believes in us or what we are doing  it is a great and wonderful thing to be able to seek out and  find that one person who who will believe and have faith in us. Sometimes all it takes is one person to nudge us on, one person  to keep us moving in the direction we need to go. Someone to say "keep on" when everyone else says "you can't."  Sometimes it is hard to find that person. We may  have to work hard to seek that person out. In Mary's case, during her time, she had Elizabeth.  Later it would be Joseph but he did not yet believe.   Elizabeth did.  Elizabeth believed what was going to happen to Mary because of what was happening to her and because of her faith in God.

Two women, cousins, friends, Mary and Elizabeth, knew something was going on. Mary went to help Elizabeth and during that time received companionship, friendship and encouragement. She, also, would give hope and encouragement to Elizabeth.  Two women, because of their great faith in God, could be the help and encouragement both of them needed.

God was at work in their lives and the lives of all those of the world. They were a part of something so great, so wonderful, bringing the Savior into the world and the prophet who would go before Him. John would be crying out, "Prepare the way of the Lord." Luke 3:4.

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Dear Lord help us to educate our family for your glory.

"Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and others that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among children. Hence, the family is the first school of those social virtues which every society needs."--Gravissimum Educationis (one of the documents of the Second Vatican Council)

Helping and Loving Our Neighbor

Corporal works of Mercy
Feed the hungry

Give drink to the thirsty

Clothe the naked

Shelter the homeless

Visit the sick

Visit the imprisoned

Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
Admonish the sinner

Instruct the ignorant

Counsel the doubtful

Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently

Forgive all injuries

Pray for the living and the dead

Good Samaritain