Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 18, 2022

Sister Evangeline Salazar, OSB reflects on the scripture readings: Isaiah 7:10-14; Romans 1: 1-7;

Matthew 1:18-24

Jesus

walked about

the cities

and villages

healing

diseases

and infirmities

of every kind.

When He saw

the crowds

He had compassion

because

they were harassed

and helpless

like sheep

without a shepherd.

Sun breaks through

a heavy cloud

awakening the creatures

and birds

of the forest.

Greeting

the fresh morning dew,

majestic pines

and blazing wildflowers

sway their greeting

to a new day.

And the Benedictine Sisters

rise

to answer the call

of the bells

heralding them

towards the chapel

to begin

salutations

to the God of all Creation

John the Baptist

appeared

preaching in the desert.

A voice

crying in the desert,

“Prepare

the way of the Lord.”

And Mary

heard the brush of Angel wings

and said

I shall carry the Child

and give birth

to the Almighty

And Peter and Andrew,

James and John,

and all the rest

heard the call,

left what they had

and who they were

and followed

Jesus.

And Joseph?

He too

heard the brush of angel wings

and ventured

into the risky unknown,

trusting

like those before him,

that no matter

the cost

God, the divine promise

was bigger and better

than his wildest imagination.

He took Mary

into his home and

accepted the fact

that his life

would never be what he had planned.

Advent calls us

for unexpected, unhoped for change.

God offers

more than we could ever imagine

or even hope for.

Perhaps

it’s not we who are waiting

but God at our door,

appearing in dreams,

sending angels,

asking,

Will you make room

for Emmanuel

in ways you never imagine?

Sister Ana

speaks her yes:

I have chosen monastic profession with the Benet Hill Community

because I feel it is here

I will be able to deepen my baptismal

covenant with God.

I join my “Yes” to Mary’s “Yes”

and to the “Yes” of my Benedictine sisters

as together we await Emmanuel

and proclaim

the greatness of our God.

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