Fourth Sunday in Advent (24th December)

Our God is a promise maker, as we read in the Second Book of Samuel, “Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever” (2 Sam. 7:16).

Our God is also a promise keeper, but not as we expect. The promise to David of the Messiah will be fulfilled with the co-operation of Mary – a lowly virgin, young, puzzled, inexperienced. From Nazareth, from where no good can come!

Mary,in Luke’s infancy narrative, is a great example of trust in God. Yes, she’s afraid, confused and puzzled, but she is willing to ponder this calling in her heart. This pondering of Mary is a challenge in our living out of our Dominican motto Contemplare et Contemplata aliis tradere. But Mary was willing to surrender to the workings of the Holy Spirit within her. When we realize the promise of God: “I am with you always”, our trust and confidence to acknowledge how blessed we are, may be able to shine through the cracks of challenges in joy, commitment, service and thanksgiving.

Mary is a true example of discipleship for us. She discerned and faithfully responded to God’s call. Our challenge is to ponder God’s daily call and faithfully “bloom where we are planted.”

Mary was also a woman of service. She took the long journey to visit Elizabeth and give a helping hand in her final months of pregnancy. Are we open to the opportunities of service God presents to us daily, with joy, compassion, mercy and love as Mary models for us?

Like Mary do we “forever sing the goodness of the Lord” as the responsorial psalm (88) proclaims today and as Mary proclaimed in her Magnificat.


Mary is truly a model who can help us grow closer to her son Jesus, and live out our motto Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare.

Emmanuel, come and be born in our hearts so that like Mary, we may manifest your love, peace and justice in our ministries throughout the world. Amen.

Therese Lenehan O.P.

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