Sunday, December 20, 2015

"Blessed are You Who Believe"

Fourth Sunday of Advent, 2015:

Fourth Sunday of Advent, 2015

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
December 20, 2015

"Blessed are you who believe that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
[Luke 1:45]
We all like to get our way. Okay, I won't speak for everyone. So let me rephrase that, 99.9% of us like to get our way as often as possible (myself included of course). Okay, I don't really know the exact number, but my guess is, it's pretty high. From a very early age we start striving to make sure that our wants are being met (even long after we start realizing that others have needs, wants and feelings too). And so, we grab toys away from other kids. We beg mom and dad to make our favorite food for dinner. We want to have absolute control of the TV. (Who can stand those shows adults watch anyway?) And we cry and throw tantrums when things don't go our way. (But I don't want to go to bed now!)

And unfortunately for many of us it doesn't stop as we grow older. It just continues. Oh, don't get me wrong, we don't want it to be too obvious. We're way too smart for that. And so we do our best to disguise our deep desire to get our own way by compromising and giving in from time to time (so that we don't look like big jerks).

But if we are being totally honest, many of us secretly hope our wants and desires get met. And so, will do things like try to convince our teacher to give us a true false or multiple-choice test rather than one that requires an essay. And we don't like it when our parents won't allow us to throw a party for our friends or won't buy us the latest expensive gadget. We want our boss to use our ideas in the workplace and not someone else's. We want to pick the movie when were going out on date night (and choose the restaurant beforehand!). We want our family vacation destination to be our choice alone. We want the final parenting decisions (such as discipline) to be ours -- and not the other way around. (I know the best way to handle kids, right?) And we certainly want to get to pick the car we want to buy for the family. That's a given, the list could go on and on and on.
"Blessed are you who believe that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
[Luke 1:45]
That's Elizabeth speaking to Mary as we just heard in our Gospel passage from Luke. What an incredible beautiful (and wise) sentiment! Elizabeth is expressing something that lies at the heart of living a faith-filled, grace filled life.

And it is this: true blessings arise not only from the utter graciousness of God, but in cooperation with the human heart that is willing to believe, to trust, to hope, and to surrender fully to God's way. Mary was profoundly blessed (and passed that blessing onto the world) not simply because she heard God or knew what He was asking of her, but because she trusted enough to accept and embrace the path God had laid out for her.

Mary knew that God's way is always the best way. And she was more than okay with not getting her own way. It doesn't even seem to have been a consideration.
"Blessed are you who believe that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
[Luke 1:45]
Had Mary chosen "her way" things might have been much, much different. Think for a minute. If she would have chosen for herself (considering only her own needs, concerns and wants) -- would she have wanted to be pregnant and unmarried? Would she have wanted potentially to face a lifetime of ridicule and gossip and shame? Would she have wanted to risk being beaten or stoned? Would she have wanted her motherhood to start out with so many questions, uncertainties, and worries?

Would she have wanted the child whose life was probably going to be unlike that of any other child ever born, a child whose life would lead down paths she could never even imagine? I think we know the answer. But that wasn't what was important to Mary.

It shouldn't be for us either.

Advent is rapidly coming to an end. In a few days we will once again welcome the Lord Jesus into the world, into our hearts, into our lives. And our God comes to us not simply for a visit, not simply for a short time, but to be with us always. He wants to dwell with us and within us-- shaping all that we say and do. And He wants to speak to us in the deepest recesses of our hearts, wants to invite us to help Him in his sacred work -- wants us to help Him shower the world with love and mercy and compassion and generosity. Put simply, God is going to be asking a lot of us-- as he does each and every day. Too often (sadly) we hear-- but don't listen, hear -- but don't act, -- hear but don't have the courage to put our wants and desires far behind those of our loving God.

And so we look to the Blessed Mother as an example for us all-- a woman who had enough faith to hear God speaking to her through an Angel, a woman who had enough trust to say, yes, to whatever God was asking of her, and a woman who hoped deeply and confidently in God's promises. Elizabeth saw in her, just how blessed Mary was for listening to God and saying yes to Him. May we do the same each and every day.

The Father does know Best!

So you all be Good, be Holy, preached the Gospel always using Words and Holy Actions.

'Thank you' to Deacon Kaas, for letting me post his reflection here.

More reflections:
Related posts:

No comments:

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More


Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.