Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 13, 2021 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

The Word of God became man, human like us, for one reason, to free us from sin and to give us a share in God’s eternal life. Two days ago, began the Octave before Christmas, the last eight days of Advent. It started with the genealogy of Christ, in St. Matthew’s Gospel, stretching from Abraham to our Lord. This genealogy of forty-two generations shows that Jesus truly is human, with ancestors full of human weaknesses.

It also reminds us that God gave prophets to His people to help them prepare for Christ’s coming, much as He has given us Advent to prepare ourselves to remember Christ’s coming at Christmas and to prepare for His coming again. We prepare by living in obedience to God’s will, and as disciples, carrying His message to others.

That preparation and discipleship comes to fruition in Mary, who was prepared, through her obedience to God, to receive Her Lord and King in her heart and in her womb, becoming His first disciple. Through faith, Mary immediately said yes to the Angel Gabriel. She then took Christ to her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist. It was what was inside of Mary that counted, her love of God and others, that allowed her to carry God to others.

Like it was for Mary, it is what is inside of us that matters. Our Catholic faith calls us to be like Mary, not to be concerned only about ourselves, not to be concerned only about saving ourselves and getting ourselves into heaven. Our Catholic faith calls us to bring the care, love, compassion, concern, and presence of the Christ within us, to those around us. God calls us to reveal His kingdom here on earth, as it is in heaven.

As Mary prepared for that first Christmas, she took our Lord to her cousin. Elizabeth greeted Mary crying out: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” This Christmas, I pray that our friends, our cousins, our brothers, and our sisters in Christ, who have received our loving care and friendship, will likewise bless us.

– Bp. Roy Campbell

Related Articles