Fourth Sunday of Advent

Homily Video

Fourth Sunday of Advent Homily Transcript

>>This Advent season, we’ve been walking with the primary characters of the story of Jesus’ birth. Mary today, John the Baptist who proclaimed him when he first came we also heard from for the last two weeks, and then Jesus himself invited us to be prepared. Those were our Advent readings. Today we hear from Mary. I really like us to meditate for a little bit on this young girl, really this young teenager who God chose to be the mother of his son.  

What do we know about her? She was a very faith-filled woman. She with her parents, Anna and Joakim, she prayed constantly. She prayed and spent time dedicated to God with her father and her mother. A good Jewish girl doing what a good Jewish faithful girl should do. She held God very close to her heart, and received the word, finally, when the Angel Gabriel came and told her, “You’re going to be the mother of the Son of God.”
As we meditate on Mary and her prayerfulness and her preparedness and her readiness to be the mother of Jesus, I like to remind us that really in many ways, she is Mary. She is the first disciple of Jesus. Now, discipleship is something that we all strive for. Discipleship is something that we all want to grow more closely to Jesus, to become even a better disciple every day. She was the first disciple. She not only prayerfully received the word and received the overpowering of the Holy Spirit. She bore Jesus in her womb. She gave birth to Jesus on that beautiful night that we celebrate tonight. She gave birth to Jesus. And then she really guided Jesus and raised Jesus. But ultimately was, when she bore Jesus into the world already of disciple of Jesus.  

So as a disciple of Jesus, we can take our cues from Mary. We can take our cues about how that being a disciple means being a prayerful person. Just like Mary was a prayerful person before she even knew she was to be the mother of Jesus. She dedicate herself in prayer. So to are we call to be prayerful people daily, weekly at our local church. We’re called to be prayer-filled people connecting ourselves to God, connecting ourselves to God’s son Jesus, and connecting ourselves to their love, which is the Holy Spirit. We’re also called to serve, just as we saw Mary serve constantly. Serve her son, Jesus. Serve with the disciples, because she really was. She walked with the apostles. Serve with the apostles. We are called to be servants as well of our family and friends. Servant of our faith community. Servant here on Earth. Jesus calls us as his disciples to pray, serve, and also to share. Mary couldn’t keep the good news of Jesus to herself. Mary along with the apostles, couldn’t contain what they’d seen and what they’d heard, what they’d witnessed, and what they knew – which was Jesus. And not only his life and his death, but also his resurrection and ascension to heaven. They couldn’t contain that, and they needed to share that good news with everyone they met. And so Mary did, as did the Apostles.  

All friends, I want to suggest today that as we are here now, ending our Advent journey, let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus always. But to learn more about what it means to be a disciple, let us keep our eyes fixed on Mary. His mother, who prayed constantly, served lovingly, and shared the good news of her son with all those who would listen. 

Jesus invites us to be his disciple, and Mary gives us a beautiful example of discipleship. Let us follow Jesus and his mother, Mary. Amen. 

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