The focus of the fourth Sunday in Advent is always Mary, the mother of Jesus. This remarkable woman gave birth not just to a unique baby, but to a whole new way of being through her divine son. One of the problems with Advent and Christmas is that the stories that guide these seasons can be framed in ways that make us passive observers of God’s amazing work. It can be tempting to think of God as dwelling outside of our human world and swooping in to make things right when they go wrong. It can be tempting to view faith as simply receiving blessing and salvation from God, and then waiting for God to fix the world or take us to heaven. But, to interpret the incarnation in this way is to miss its power and challenge.

The Bible is filled with ordinary people who were used by God to accomplish extraordinary things. Often, they did nothing more than live their lives with faithfulness and love, but God used the small seeds of their daily routines to change the world. Mary is one of these people, and her example of faithful obedience is one that can be followed by every God-seeker.

This week we meditate on God’s call to participate in the miracle of incarnation, and we celebrate the Christ Child, and the new way of being that he brought to us.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.