Reflections for the Fourth Week of Advent–The Grace of God Has Appeared

By Sister Natalie DeLuca, MHSH

We are drawing near the December date that brings vivid images of a tiny bundle of humanity—a promised child filled with grace who will fill us with hope and joy.  All children are beautiful. All children are filled with promise. But this child fills the desire of nations!

Set to music, our hearts swell with joy as we recall, read, hear and sing the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“For a child is born to us, a son is given us;

Upon his shoulder dominion rests,

They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,

Father-forever, Prince of Peace…”

The grace of God has appeared.  During these gifted moments that surround the anniversary of the birth of Christ, memories of many past Christmases crowd the space in our hearts.  We cherish the memory of children who perhaps left our side much too soon, of family members or friends whose love of life and whose strong faith revealed Christ to us.  They fed us with a bread of blessing.  They were Eucharist for us.  We are who we are today because of their joy, their hope, their excitement of life.

As we visit the crèche in our churches or place the small figure of the infant Jesus in the manger under the tree, we recall the birth of Jesus and all that He did for us.  It is a good time for recalling the joy and blessing of other births – of sons and daughters who gave their lives unselfishly for others; family members whose kindness let us grow in freedom as children of God; friends and teachers of our childhood or adulthood whose lives were transparent with honesty and truth and made a difference in our journey of life.

We rejoice.  We celebrate.  We are so grateful for the lives of the many who touched our lives during their journey to God.  In celebrating the birth of the ONE who was the face of God, we celebrate all the births of those loved ones who gifted us with the grace of the Babe born in Bethlehem.  Their birth was a Christmas gift to us that will last our lifetime.  We pray our Christmas praises and, in joy, give thanks!

During this last week of Advent, allow some time to reflect on the gift of Christ in your life.

What difference does He make in your life?

Who brings Christ to you today?

To whom do you bring Christ?

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2 Responses to Reflections for the Fourth Week of Advent–The Grace of God Has Appeared

  1. Pam Becker says:

    I give thanks this Christmas to my Mission Helper friends, Sister Eileen Lally and Sister Dianne Livingstone: Sister Eileen for her many years of dedicated service to the families of St. Edmond’s in Rehoboth, DE and for planting the seed for my calling to be a DRE at St. Jude’s in Lewes, DE; to Sr. Dianne for her friendship and prayers as we worked together in the Wilmington Diocese. Christmas peace and joy to you!

  2. Sr. Dianne Livingstone MHSH says:

    Thanks Sr. Natalie for helping put faces to the many cards we receive at Christmas. Memory is one of the greatest gifts we have. Joy to all as we re-member the people in our lives.

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