Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 19 December 2021
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Mic. 5:1-4a; Ps. 80:2ac,3b,15-16,18-19; Heb. 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45
During Advent, Luke presents John the Baptist preaching repentance. The Predecessor of the Lord gives us guidance and a path to repent. Last week he emphasized the fruits of repentance, both the general and specific ones. Perhaps Luke feels our confusion and that we need guidance. Therefore, in the last week of Advent, he presents an exemplary figure whom we should emulate, Mother of Jesus. Let us learn from the Mother about the proper attitude to welcome the Son.
First, Mary hurried to the mountain, to Elizabeth, her relative’s house. She teaches us to act as a servant who believes and obeys and fast to read the signs. The angel gave a sign: “your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son” (Luke 1:36). Mary immediately responded to that sign by leaving instantly to be the witness. Mary teaches us to be the servant of God: always be ready to be His witness and testify about the sign and miracle of the Lord. Mother Mary anticipated the attitude of the shepherds on Christmas Eve. When the angels sent the sign of the baby lying in the manger, they hurried to see Him (Luke 2:15). The sign from the Lord is the revelation of His work. Such revelation should be treated as our personal asset. The experience of the Lord should not be privatized, instead, it should move one’s heart to go and become His witness, in order to make it as a testimony.
Second, Mary is a “blessed” mother (v. 42). Elizabeth’s call to Mary repeated the angel Gabriel’s earlier greeting, who greeted Mary as “blessed are you” (1:39). Of course, we are more used to the word of “praised” in Hail Mary prayer. But translating it with “blessed” is more suitable to emphasize God’s work and blessing. The specialty of Mary is the fruit of God’s grace and blessing from her womb (v. 42), it is not of her own greatness. She is just the servant of God, as she says (Luke 1:38). That is the real heart of a servant: admitting herself to have no merit, as all we have, all our identity, is the fruit of God’s work and grace, through Him who dwells in us. We are the blessed and joyful people, because -since we are baptized-, we have been labeled with “Christ inside”.
Third, Mary is a mother who “believes” (v. 45). In the Gospel of Luke, Mary is presented as the Mother of the Lord as well as the model or example of the faithful person. She is truly joyful, not just because she is the biological mother of the Lord, but especially because “she believes whatever being told to her from the Lord, will happen”. Mary invites you and me to believe in the Lord’s promise and words. Advent is the moment to nurture and strengthen our faith. As if she is advising: fill the remaining time of Advent with the preparation of faith, not only with decoration and festive. Prepare ourselves to believe more, instead of showing off at Christmas. Pray for us, Mother, so that we can believe more and have the heart of a servant!
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
For the catechist: Let us pray for the catechists who are called to proclaim the word of God: may they become His bold and creative witnesses, and be always filled with Holy Spirit. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
For the farmers: May all the authorities help the farmers to improve their effort to have a good standard of living and to meet the needs of the society. We pray…
Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
May You be pleased to gather us with the Holy Family, to follow the ministry of Saint Joseph, to present the devotion to Mother Mary, and to have faith in The Son. We pray…