Sunday, December 21, 2014

Done to Me

Fourth Sunday of Advent 2014 B

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm.  I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.  2 Samuel 7:14

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 1:38

Piety is all the ways we express God as being with us. Many times we say of Mary that the Lord is with you. Piety says that the Lord is with us. Mary is not the only one that has the Lord. As we await Nativity, we can imagine the Lord growing in Mary. Each time we share Eucharist, the feeding on the Lord allows him to grow within us. There is the limit of how possible it is for us to communicate with the Lord. The Lord does not force-feed us. He responds to our invitations. Piety is our willingness to communicate with the Lord expressed by our Sacramental life and by our feeding on the word of God. We learn to make time for the Lord. Christ is the Word made flesh. The more our piety exposes us to the Lord, the more we have of the Lord in our hearts. The paradox of our piety is that we can have as much of the Lord as we give away. What we do for Christ is what piety inspires. Sometimes it even calls us perspire as we work hard at sharing the Lord.  

Scripture gives us the Word of God directly and indirectly. Our study of scripture is how we put on the mind and find the heart of Christ in what we do about being the presence of Christ by what we learn. Our goal is to die with Christ so that we can live with him. The only limit on Christ in our lives is in what we have of his life to live and to share. Study helps us to realize how we can be more like him. We are created in the image and likeness of Christ. How we live his life in who we are does not decrease his presence. It increases it in all the ways our study welcomes the Lord into our hearts. We do not lose ourselves by following Christ. We gradually learn enough to say that I no longer live but Christ lives in me. Study helps us to realize our destiny as children of God and brother and sister to Christ.

We can have as much Christ in our lives as we give away by sharing what we have of Christ with others. How we use our gifts to make a better world is how be become Christ to our world. Whatever we do for the least one of our brothers and sisters needs is what we do for Christ and how we make Christ present in our world. Mary by her “Yes” to the angel shows us how to make a better world. Reaching out to the needs that surround us with more than our extras of life is how we imitate Mary in giving Christ room in our lives. The more we empty ourselves out in the name of Christ, the more he comes to us. There is nothing too small before the mystery of Nativity that we are preparing to celebrate for our world.

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