4th Sunday of Advent - Sunday, December 23, 2018

Father Fred Scinto's picture

Father Fred Scinto

December 17, 2018

We quickly come to the end of this Advent Season. It has gone by so very quickly! Were we (individually and collectively) able to welcome our Coming God whose darlings we are in grace? In this encounter, God does all the work and all we have to do is openly receive! If you and I have been delinquent in this matter, may I suggest a drastic needed solution?

Between now and Christmas Day, let us find and make time (roughly an hour) in order to make a serious response to our God Who keeps coming to us no matter what is happening or going on around us.  To do so, we will need to let go of how our age/culture/normal development has shaped us and continues to do so.  Yes, we will need to set aside strongly the narcissism that we have even unwittingly let take over our lives.  Yes, narcissism – self-centredness! We need to let go of all the ways we have built into our personal lives, ways of keeping God out. 

This is not easy to do but must be done if we are to let our God come to us in God’s coming that has no self-interest in it but only our welfare and well-being as its purpose.  Use the following process for all three readings of the day and do them one by one.

Find a quiet place to do this. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and being.  Thoughtfully, proclaim the Scripture reading to yourself out loud.  Pause-and think and pray.  Choose a holy word that struck you during the reading and say it out loud.  Then tell yourself why it struck you; and then ask and answer the question of what it is asking you to do in your life.  And do that!

An example from today’s scripture readings. In the first reading from Micah today, find the word peace at the end of the reading, in the expression “he shall be peace.” Why does it strike me? Because there is so much narcissism in my life and in the lives of others today.  In the last half century in the Western world, research shows it has grown very much among us and is now listed as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychological professionals.  My suspicion is that in our world where we are overwhelmed by too much happening too quickly, narcissism has become a haven against all this mess.  In any case, we come to the last part of the process i.e., what is this asking me to do? To be peace (true peace) for others and myself.  That is all there is to it! Try it in grace!

“Restore us O God; please let your face shine, that we may be saved.”