Most Blessed By Obedience


Most Blessed By Obedience

December 19, 2021 | N W | Advent, Christmas, Father Nixon, Generosity, Joy, Mary, Obedience

Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 19, 2021 — Year C
Readings: Mi 5:1-4a / Ps 80 / Heb 10:5-10 / Lk 1:39-45
by Rev. Nixon Negparanon, Pastor

Today is the last Sunday of Advent.  This season is about to end, and we are closer to the Christmas holidays.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord took flesh in the Virgin Mary, and He remains with us in the Blessed Sacrament.  And every Christmas we commemorate His birth.

During these four weeks of Advent, we have been listening to and meditating on the readings from the Holy Scriptures that remind us of the need that we all have to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord.

Our gospel today tells us, when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby moved inside her. Then Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, said in a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

So now the question, brothers and sisters, is why Mary is the most blessed. Mary is the most blessed, because God has given her the greatest honor, which is to be the mother of God’s only Son.

To this day, it is difficult but interesting for theologians to explain why God chose an ordinary and simple woman to be the mother of His Son. Why not look for a mother who is from the royal family and of royal blood? However, neither can we deny that God has always favored and defended the poor, ordinary, and humble people.

In fact, in the first reading, for example, the prophet Micah says that God will choose Bethlehem, the smallest of the descendants of Judah, as the birthplace of the Messiah.

Mary became most blessed, not only because of the birth of Jesus, but also because she remained faithful to the will of God throughout her life. Jesus taught us that obedience to God’s will is the most important element of our relationship with Him.

In fact, on one occasion, a woman cried out, “Blessed is the mother who conceived You, and blessed is she who nursed You.” But Jesus responded by saying, “Blessed are those who hear the words of God and live in them.” Also, on another occasion, Jesus said, “My mother, my brothers, and my sisters are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

Mary is the most blessed, because she is the first of all the disciples of Christ, and she is the most obedient of all the children of God, from the beginning up to the end.

Our longing and our goal should be to obtain, with the help of the Most Blessed Virgin, the only truly important thing in our existence.  And what is that? Encountering Christ and getting to know Him well, just as He is. Our Most Beloved Mother, if we ask her to help us, will show us how to find a way to do this, so our life can be lived honestly and generously; so that we can turn away from sin and turn our hearts toward Jesus. Mary will help us to get closer to her Son, since she’s the road over which we get to Him.

The end of Advent, the beginning of Christmas season, approaches. It’s a time we can use to take a look at how our relationship with God has progressed during this year that is about to end. The Church shows us that this is a time to prepare ourselves meticulously for the season.

But we can ask ourselves: How can we prepare ourselves? Through prayer and also by making a good Confession, so that we can afterwards receive Communion properly, in the state of God’s grace. If we do this, then we will be prepared for a gratifying holiday season.

As we conclude our preparation for the Nativity of Our Lord, the Church encourages us to follow the example of Mary, especially in her self-forgetfulness for the blessing of others.

The gospel relates to us that, after learning that she was pregnant with the Son of God, Mary hurriedly traveled to Judea, to the house of Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah. When she went to her relative’s house, she went there not to boast of the honor of the motherhood of the Son of God, but to help Elizabeth, who was then pregnant even in her old age.

Here we can see that Mary was willing, not only to serve God, but also her neighbor. In fact, she was no longer commanded; she was the one who hurried away to help her cousin.

This Christmas, brothers and sisters, would be very meaningful if, like Mary, we begin to look at the ways we can help others, especially our poor brothers and sisters.

There is another message in the Visitation. We can hear that, when Mary greets Elizabeth, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and cries out, “Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord? From the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy.”

I was told that a baby stirring in the mother’s womb is not something unusual.  But Saint Luke, who tells the story, intends the baby’s movement to be caused by something else. He intends the movement to be a joyful response to the presence of Jesus in Mary’s own womb.

Brothers and sisters, we’re a few days away from Christmas. Let us ask ourselves: Does the coming of Christ make us leap for joy, like the baby of Elizabeth? Or do we leap for joy because of the Christmas gifts we receive? Or because of the parties and merrymaking we have started to enjoy? If this is the only kind of joy we experience, it is incomplete and superficial. The source of our real joy should be in the reality that Jesus Christ came into our world and has lived with us.

May Jesus Christ be praised.

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