12.22.13 ~ 4th Sunday of Advent


Mt 1:23 – 25

Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call him Emmanuel (which means, God with us). And Joseph awoke from sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, taking his wife to himself; and he had not known her when she bore a son, her first-born, to whom he gave the name Jesus.

In Conversation with God:

There is no better way of preparing for Christmas, which is so close now, than by keeping Mary company…

What a contrast between Our Lady’s hope and our own impatience! We call so often upon God to reward us at once for any little good we may have done. For us, no sooner does the very first difficulty appear than we begin to complain. Often we find ourselves incapable of sustaining our efforts, of keeping our hope alive…

Whoever does things for love of God and for His Glory never fails. Convince yourself of this truth: your success – this time, in this matter – was to fail. Give thanks to our Lord… and try again! You haven’t failed; you have gained experience. On you go! …

In proportion as the world grows weary of its Christian hope, the alternative is materialism, of a type with which we are already familiar – that and nothing else. The world’s great experience of Christianity has been like a great love, the love of a lifetime… No new voice… will have any appeal for us, if it does not bring us back to the stable at Bethlehem – there to humble our pride, and enlarge our charity, and deepen our sense of reverence with the sight of a dazzling purity…

Whilst the encounter with the woman with the issue of blood is taking place, what has become of Jairus? It seems he has fallen into the background, and it is not too difficult to imagine him somewhat distraught, because his daughter had already been on the point of death when he left her to seek out the Master. Jesus, on the other hand, does not appear to be in any hurry…

Jesus never arrives too late. He only demands greater faith. He waited until it was ‘too late’ in this instance in order to teach us that supernatural hope remains, like a solid foundation, amid the ruins of human hope, and all we need is unlimited trust in him who can do anything He wills at any moment.

This passage reminds us of our own lives. When it seems sometimes that Jesus has not intervened to meet our need, He then gives us a much greater grace than we have been beseeching him for… Do not be afraid; only believe…


Food in our sleep appears like our food awake; yet the sleepers are not nourished by it, for they are asleep.

Living Liturgy:

Throughout history God manifests salvation through signs that are concrete, specific, and identifiable: swords are beaten into plowshares… the sinful repent, the unrepentant are punished, and the wolf dines with the lamb… the blind, deaf, lame are healed… When Ahaz refuses to ask God for a sign… he is refusing God entrance into history and into his heart. God can only react with weariness.


… i have traveled many moonless nights, cold and weary with a babe inside, and i wonder what i’ve done…

ToB #128 ~ Respect for the Work of God

Respect for the work of God contributes to seeing that the conjugal act does not become diminished and deprived of the interior meaning of married life as a whole—that it does not become a habit…


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