In the face of the impossible, God works the possible

| Deacon Luis Mejia | December 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

ANGEL, STAR OF BETHLEHEM SHOWN IN WINDOW AT CANADIAN CATHEDRALOn Jan. 8, 2014, I had the great privilege to visit the Church of the Annunciation in the town of Nazareth in Galilee. I got to visit the small cave in which the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, and it made a big impact.

When I knelt down, the first words that came to my mind were, “Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with you,” because in that place, God showed us his transcendence. Perhaps not everyone has the privilege to go to Nazareth, but we can meditate on the mystery of the Annunciation in today’s readings.

We are celebrating the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Today’s reading reminds us of three important aspects about understanding God’s presence through history: first, salvation occurs within history; second, the mystery has been revealed; and third, God works the impossible.

God is present in the story of salvation as the one who leads, governs and dwells among us. God is the one who takes the initiative to lead man. We are told “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you” (2 Samuel 7:3). He is the one who instructs man, “Go, tell my servant David, ‘thus says the Lord: Should you build me a house to dwell in?” (2 Samuel 7:5). The house that God will build is a holy nation. It will come from a covenant that transcends time but is present to history. This covenant comes through time from the old covenant that God the father made with Moses and is fulfilled in the humble town of Nazareth. Salvation takes place in time, in history.

God in his merciful goodness wishes to reveal himself in the mystery of the Annunciation through the mission of the Son. With the Annunciation, the mystery has been revealed. In it, what was hidden is now made known. The coming of the Messiah establishes a new covenant of which Jesus is the fulfillment. The opening angelic greeting, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you,” (Luke 1:28) emphatically states Mary’s extraordinary dignity. The common salutation carries the connotation of “rejoice” because God is dwelling among us.

So, rejoice, brothers and sisters, because Advent is soon over. In the face of the impossible, God works the possible. Mary is asked to believe this. She is open to acceptance, saying “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). She is to believe something else equally impossible. Like Mary, we are asked to say “Yes” to God’s call. She teaches how to believe and accept the impossible.

What we have been waiting for during the four Sundays of Advent is now revealed through the sending of the Son in the Incarnation. We have been waiting for the realization of the promise made to David in the Old Testament. With Mary’s “Yes,” the promise is fulfilled. With it, hope is enlivened and history is changed. There is an unimaginable future for all who believe in this mystery of the Incarnation. Through the sending of the Son, God’s salvation is among us, and the fate of history is altered by a godly presence.

Deacon Mejia is in formation for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa. His teaching parish is Lumen Christi Catholic Community in St. Paul. His home parish is Our Lady of the Americas in Des Moines.

Sunday, Dec. 21

Fourth Sunday of Advent

  • 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
  • Romans 16:25-27
  • Luke 1:26-38

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Category: Sunday Scriptures