(4th Sunday of Advent: 2 Samuel 7:1-16; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38)
When they first saw a globe of light at the place where they had eaten their lunch of bread and cheese, Maximin told Mélanie to hold on to her staff, in case of danger. They were terrified.
The Beautiful Lady understood their fear. She, too, had been “greatly troubled” at the greeting of the angel. So she did for the children what the angel had done for her, saying: “Don’t be afraid,” and explaining the purpose of her coming.
Have you ever fantasized how you would react if you found yourself in a similar situation? You might think, What? Who? Me? Not possible!
But look at the patriarchs, the prophets and the apostles. Some felt unworthy of their call, or unready, even afraid; but not one of them doubted its authenticity. Though some faltered along the way, all but one remained faithful.
Look at King David. In our first reading, as in many other places, God calls him “my servant David.” Yet David, as we know, had serious flaws and had committed grievous sins. Being absolutely perfect is clearly not a precondition for serving the Lord.
Today’s psalm describes God’s promise to David as follows: “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: Forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations.” The angel in the Gospel declares that those words are fulfilled in Jesus: “Of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Paraphrasing today’s opening prayer, we recognize that God has poured forth the grace of reconciliation into the hearts of those who have responded to the invitation of Our Lady of La Salette to “come closer.” She calls us to have hearts that are entirely with the Lord, as the Scripture says of David (1 Kings 11:4). That is our part in the covenant relationship.
Then we will be ready to undertake God’s work, which he has entrusted to us, even though he knows our faults better than we do.
Mary has given us the example. Her yes to the angel changed the world. We can say yes to her, acting on her words and hoping to make a difference. Who? You!
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.