Commentary on the Gospel of

Fernando Torres, CMF


20 December – 4th Sunday Advent

 Mary, the joyful expectation of the newborn

       The birth of a new child in a family is always a moment full of joy and hope. But it is also, admittedly, a difficult moment. The mother goes through a trance that is not easy. The life that is born comes into the world in the midst of pain. The newborn is fragile, weak. The parents have to turn to care and attention. The baby necessarily becomes the center of the family. He needs all possible attention. Only in this way can the new life grow and become an adult. It is a long process that is fraught with difficulties. The newborn is for the parents a reason to be responsible. The joy of the birth will be fulfilled to the extent that the parents collaborate in the development of the child. That is why the expectation of birth is a time of hope but also of concern. Will everything go well?

      Mary is the protagonist of this last Sunday of Advent. The moment of Jesus' birth is near. Mary undoubtedly lived this time in hope and in joy. Like every mother she would ask herself questions about the future of the child she was carrying in her womb. And she would not have all the answers. She could only trust the word of God she had received: what she carried in her womb was the work of the Spirit of God. Faith characterizes Mary's attitude. She lived in peace, trusting in the Lord. That is why she can go and visit her cousin to help her also at the time of the birth.

      Joyful hope in the faith must also characterize the life of the Church and of our Christian community. The presence of God is germinating in our world. This is an essential part of our faith. To prepare ourselves to celebrate Christmas is to have an open heart to the newness that God can bring into our lives at any time. Because God continues to be born in our world. God continues to be present among us. Sometimes in the most unusual ways, but always, for sure, among his favorites, the poorest, the simplest, those who have nothing. Blessed are we if we are able to discover that mysterious presence of God near us! Then we will be ready to celebrate Christmas.

 For your reflection

     When we observe our society, are we able to discover in it that imminent presence of God? Do we celebrate with joy the signs of salvation and life that we discover in our world?


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