It’s surprising just how quickly Christmas seems to have come this year! Someone said recently, ‘There was the beginning of the year, then it was March, and March, and March and, suddenly, it’s Christmas!’ Just 5 days to go. Unfortunately, news about a new COVID outbreak in Sydney has somewhat dampened spirits, especially for those, like me, hopeful of meeting up with family and friends there this Christmas.
In the midst of that fear and uncertainty comes the joyful announcement to Mary about the birth of Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel. This announcement produces anxiety, hesitation and doubt in Mary. But the angel’s quite reassurance at every turn in their conversation eventually enables Mary to say a peaceful ‘yes’ to what God is offering.
The first reading this Sunday makes clear that God is not about building temples to himself and it’s not dwelling-places made of wood or stone that God wants. God is about building dwelling-places in human flesh. God is about building a people among whom and in whom he can live.
In the Gospel, Mary accepts God’s invitation to make herself into a dwelling place for God by receiving Christ into her human flesh. Through her God has come to live permanently in humanity.
That is what we, too, are about – making ourselves into a living dwelling place for Christ. The great gift of Jesus to the world is not meant to be frozen in one moment of time. Through us, that Gift is made present in every moment of history so that, through us, Christ is able to continue to touch, to hold and to heal the world.
"We must ourselves be the Mother of God.
God must be conceived in us,
we must bring him into the world.”
(Blessed Titus Brandsma, Carmelite, 1881-1942 )
Read the Gospel reflection for this Sunday.
Join us in celebrating at home this Sunday using the resources below.