|Diocese of St. Augustine|
CAMPUS PADRE Offers food for thought
Fourth Sunday of Advent
"Therefore, though it is God who takes the initiative of coming to dwell in the midst of men, and he is always the main architect of this plan, it is also true that he does not will to carry it out without our active cooperation. Therefore, to prepare for Christmas means to commit oneself to build 'God's dwelling with men.” Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus, 12 December 2006, Vatican City.
The message throughout Advent has been, to prepare / to be ready… for the coming of the Lord. Well, the day before Christmas, it’s probably a good idea if we do a bit of a personal check to make sure we’ve kept Christ in Christmas and took seriously the need to evaluate our relationship with God and that that relationship is transformative for us.
In the First Reading, we can see in the words of God to David, an acknowledgement of readiness and the unexpected way that God allows us a role in the great plan of salvation. God made a solemn promise to King David, that a descendent of his will rule an everlasting Kingdom. King David wasn’t ready to hear that promise and receive that joy until, "he was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies on every side." For us, his palace symbolizes our soul, our interior lives. Freedom from enemy occupation, symbolizes who is ruling the soul. Are there still some evil, self-centered desires, sinful habits or patterns, dominating our souls and our activities.
Does this reflect my interior spiritual reality? Who is ruling my soul?
David didn’t just get comfortable when all was ‘all was well with his soul’. He thought seriously about how he would continue to Love and Serve both God and Neighbor. It turned out that it wouldn’t be in the way that he imagined or presumed. In order for us to be prepared we too must be asking ‘What more can I do for God and neighbor? Each one of us is called not only to receive God's grace, but to be instruments of his grace.
Does this reflect my actions? What spirit inspires my choices?
St. Paul, in the second reading, shows us in his words the disposition toward God’s will in our lives that we should have. He praises God for the mysterious and wonderful plan of salvation, which was "kept secret for long ages," but now has been "proclaimed," revealed, and "manifested through the prophetic writings." The evidence of the first coming of Christ affirms the promises of God, the faithfulness, the love, the mercy and the coming victory.
Do I believe this? Does the truth impel me to Glorify God and share the Good News?
It is about living a life of Grace, the fullness of Grace through Christ. In today's Gospel, Mary gives us the perfect example of grace filled living as she declares that she belongs to God and her will is to do God’s will. The most profound openness to God, is in the way she allowed her womb to become the dwelling of the Lord. As Christmas approaches, we are increasingly focused on the notion of a dwelling place for God.
Is there room for Him?
Each of us, who remains open to God’s grace and being bearers of Christ to the world, live no longer for ourselves but for him who died that we might live… he must increase and I must decrease. “Surely you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you!... For God’s temple is holy and you yourselves are his temple” (1 Cor 3:16-17).
Peace doesn't just happen; it's made.
CampusPadre is a college ministry Priest Chaplain with 30 years experience in youth and young adult ministry, who strives to let the Holy Spirit lead and challenges students to seek holiness above all.