4th Sunday of Advent—Year C

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, she cried out in a loud voice and said, “How does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Who am I that the Lord would come to me? Who are we that the Lord God would become one of us?

Lord, in the words of the psalm, when we see the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which you arranged, what is mankind that you should keep us in mind, mortal man that you care for us? Yet you have made us little less than gods; with glory and honor you crowned us when, for us men and for our salvation, your Son came down from heaven, and by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary and became man.

We tend to think of the idea of God becoming a human being as the most natural thing in the world, but the event of the divine and eternal Second Person of the Trinity taking on human flesh (what we call the Incarnation) is probably the most remarkable thing that has ever happened; even more remarkable than our creation or redemption. That is why we bow profoundly when we recall the wonder of the Incarnation in our profession of faith each Sunday. “For us men and for our salvation, He came down from heaven. By the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”

Who are we that the Lord God would become one of us? Who am I that the Lord would come to me? Who we are and why Christ came to us can be summed up in this: we are sinful, limited, loved and good. This sums up human nature in four words. We are sinful, we are limited, we are loved by Him and we are good.

We need Christ as our savior because we are sinful. Even though we know what is right we freely and frequently choose what is wrong. Our sin hurts us, one another, and our relationship with God. He has come for us because we cannot save ourselves.

We are limited, finite creatures. We can forget this or deny this, but it only leads to our own frustration and failure. We are not God, and God doesn’t expect us to be—that’s His job. We must remember that we are limited, in need of His help and help from one another.

When are we are human beings most fully alive?  Not as isolated loaners, but in communion with others. Even the hermit in his desert hut needs spiritual communion with the Lord and His Church if he is to be a complete and happy person. Remember the Unabomber? He lived in a remote shack too, but without this essential communion with God and neighbor.

Though we are sinful and limited, we are also loved and good; for God has lovingly made us good, in own His image and likeness. When we prefer ourselves to God, denying our dependence on Him and scorning Him by our sins, this goodness may be wounded and obscured, but it is never abolished. Jesus Christ always sees this good in us, and He always loves us for it. He loves you for who you are now and for the person He knows that you can become with His help. You are sinful and limited, but never forget, that no matter what, you are loved by Him and good.

We are sinful, limited, loved and good. Knowing this makes us Christians the salt of the earth and shows us how to pray. In fact, the word “salt,” S-A-L-T, sums up the four varieties of Christian prayer: Sorrow, Asking, Loving, and Thanks

We pray in sorrow for our sins.
We pray in asking for our needs.
We pray in love for God loves us.
And we pray in thanks for all He gives us.

I am sinful, so I say “I’m sorry”
I am limited, so I say, “Please.”
I am loved, so I say, “I love you.”
And I am good, and richly blessed, so I say, “Thank you.” 

Who are we that the Lord God would become one of us? Who am I that the Lord would come to me? We are sinful, limited, loved and good. So let us prayerfully prepare for the imminent coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ, our God made flesh this Christmas, with sorrow, asking, love, and thanks.

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2 Responses to “4th Sunday of Advent—Year C”

  1. pussywillowpress Says:

    Thanks, Father!

    Is there a way to subscribe to your blog? I’m interested in having new entries come as email (I’m never sure when a new one is coming & don’t always think to check)

    • Father Victor Feltes Says:

      This may not give you the new-blog-post email notification that you’re looking for, but try this:

      Login to your wordpress account. The top, grey menu bar contains the menu title “Blog Info” Under “Blog Info” you can click an option to “Follow this Blog”

      This might be what you want, but likely not based upon what I see. Besides this I’m out of ideas for now.

      Merry Christmas Father Victor Feltes

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