Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent
In the spiritual classic, The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence writes about finding the presence of God in the everyday things we do in our lives. Can we find God while we are doing the dishes, or can we find God when we are doing the laundry, or when we are at work or school, or even just when we are bored not knowing what to do? For sometimes the danger when it comes to the spiritual life is that there is the spiritual self that is evident when we are in Church on Sunday, but another self, completely separate from our “Sunday self” the other days of the week.
Yet in today’s readings, we see that the small and ordinary is precisely what God uses. Elizabeth was a woman well past the age where women get pregnant and give birth. Mary was the young virgin who might very well still have been trying to figure out what to do with her life when the Angel Gabriel came into her life with the promise of God. Yet both women were very attentive to the will of God in their lives, and there very happy yes to God was great indeed.
What is it that you will do to find and seek the presence of God? Being a mother, taken in a large and general context is quite ordinary. How many women become mothers on any given day around the world? But how many of us, when considering our own mothers, would describe the impact they had in our life as “ordinary”? By looking at the story of Mary and Elizabeth, and God’s choice of Bethlehem as the place for the birth of His Son, we know that even in our lives, God is doing something special.
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