By Father Andrew Kelly
FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT – DEC. 21, 2014
In Luke’s Gospel Mary is the model for the believing community. Who Mary is, the community is to become. Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38) reveals much about Mary and therefore the community. Gabriel’s first words speak volumes: “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
Mary became who she was because Mary was full of grace and the Lord was with her. The community will become who it is for the same reason.
Does the community really deeply believe that it is full of grace and the Lord is with it? This faith is essential and fundamental if the community is going to do what Mary did. Mary gave flesh and blood so God could be born into the world. This is also the community’s mission.
Ideally Advent is the community’s season to ponder and contemplate Gabriel’s greeting: “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” This way the community will be ready to profess Mary’s faith and then accept Mary’s mission: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
The community will truly become who Mary is just as Gabriel proclaimed: “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)