4th Week of Advent


All were amazed.


If you were to pay close attention to the Gospel readings between the season of Advent and the feast of the Epiphany, you might notice a familiar refrain, especially in the readings from Luke.   Everyone seems to be amazed all the time!

Initially, when Zechariah was delayed in the Temple by an angelic visitor, the people waiting for him “were amazed” at how long he took (Luke 1:21).   Then in today’s Gospel (Luke 1:63), when Zechariah’s tongue is loosened and when he blesses God, the people are amazed (1:63).   When the shepherds told the people of Bethlehem the good news of Jesus’ birth, everyone was similarly amazed (2:18).   Even Joseph and Mary were amazed when Simeon prophesied that their child was the “glory for your people Israel” (2:32).

It’s only two days before Christmas, so now may be a good time to remind yourself why everyone was so amazed.   It’s because Jesus is amazing! If you’ve been following him for a while, you have probably seen him work in some amazing ways—either in your life or as he helped you reach out to someone with his love.   Take some time today to think back on some of these events, and thank him for these blessings.   If you’re only beginning to walk with Jesus, be assured that he has amazing things in store for you and your loved ones.

But no matter how long or short a time you have been following Jesus, you can trust that he still has a lot of amazing work to do in your life.   The promise of Christmas is a promise of new life and new hope—it’s a promise that never ends.

And even though he came two thousand years ago, he still comes to us today.   He comes through the sacraments.   He comes through his word in Scripture.   He comes in the whisperings of our conscience.   He comes in answered prayers and in answers deferred.   And he comes in the people and situations we encounter every single day.   So don’t be afraid to ask him for the “Christmas present” of seeing him work powerfully.

That’s what’s so amazing about Jesus:   he is always with us, no matter what.   May we never lose sight of this glorious truth!

“Jesus, fill me with eager expectation as I await your coming on Christmas Day.   I believe that you can still amaze me!”

Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14

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