One significant challenge for the early Church was how to treat Gentile, non-Jewish converts to Christianity. It required the original apostles and early disciples to radically re-think the mission of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. The Messiah was to be a king not just for the Jewish people, but for all people. God wills salvation for everyone, not just a select few.
Promises, Promises. We fully understand the power of a promise. It has the power to fulfill, and it has the power to destroy. Promises kept fill us with faith. Promises broken can fill us with despair. Today’s readings remind us that God makes promises, and God keeps promises. And the key figure in the promise, Mary, does not DO anything. She allows God to do something to her. Too often in the spiritual life we think we need to do a lot. But, like Mary, the Blessed Mother, we simply need to allow God to do what he will to make us the person he has created us to be.
Sin is the problem. Watching for Jesus who saves is the solution. And so Advent begins. Come, Lord Jesus.