Sunday, December 18, 2011

May It Be Done

December 18, 2011

Fourth Sunday of Advent B

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

When King David was settled in his palace,
and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, "Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!" Nathan answered the king, "Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you." But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said: "Go, tell my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD: Should you build me a house to dwell in?'
2 Samuel 7:1-5

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:35-38


We all want to give Christ a place in our hearts. David wanted to fix a place for God and he was not allowed to do so. We all want to find God. Augustine wrote brilliantly about how he sought God in all the wonderful things of creation and to his chagrin did not realize that God was to be found in his heart. When he says, “too late have I loved you, O Beauty, so noble and true,” he is talking about finding God in his own heart. Piety is how we build our own temple to God in our hearts and it never seems enough. Yet we know that it only takes the moment we are in to love the Lord. The Lord is always waiting on our love. He challenges us to love even as he has loved us. The giving of our life for another is the perfect love. Our piety is seen in all the ways we give our time and our energy to those who need us.


We look at all the ways we can reach God through Jesus Christ. He would be our very life. Whatever we do, we need must do it for the Lord if we want to be the perfect servants of his love. Wherever there is love, God is there. It is written on our hearts that our love for one another is the perfect love for God. John says it in his first letter to the Romans nicely. “How can we say we love the God we do not see if we do not love the neighbor we do see?” (1 John 4: 19-21).


Mary found favor with God because of her life. The Angel greeted her as full of grace. We bring Christ into our lives by what we do for the least ones of our brothers and sisters. We have the opportunity to serve God in what we do for the least ones of our brothers and sisters. The best action we can do for ourselves is to invite the Holy Spirit into our lives. God comes to us in the person of all those who need us. We become Christ to others in our need of them. Even as the Angel tells Mary that nothing is impossible to God, we are called to believe the same. We need to open our minds and hearts to the plan God has for us. Discernment is the act of discovering what God is asking of us. Whatever seems impossible in our lives is where the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon us as we try to do our best for the kingdom of God. The Divine plan for each of us is God’s word for us as we invite the Lord with the words of Mary to take over the actions of our lives. “May it be done to me according to your word” needs to be the constant refrain of our hearts.