Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, 2018: You Would Have Laughed

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Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, 2018: You Would Have Laughed

December 23, 2018 by Webmaster

by Sister Gretchen Johnston

O Bethlehem!

Littlest of towns,

Backwater.

Insignificant.

Did you ever think that your name would be known around the d?

You would have laughed, I think, if anyone had suggested it.

Or were you perfectly resigned to be a hub for humanity to live and work?

Where nothing extraordinary happened beyond the ordinary miracle of life?

You would have said this is the beautiful ordinary, the destiny of cities, to nourish life.

 

O Elizabeth!

Older woman.

Barren one.

Priestly caste.

Did you ever think that your name would be known around the world?

You would have laughed, I think, if anyone had suggested it.

Or were you resigned to your lot, without the children that culture dictated for women? Where childlessness left you empty but let you nourish the children of others?

You would have said this is the bittersweet ordinary, the destiny of all humankind, to find God in the everyday, to nourish life.

O Mary!

Young teenager.

Betrothed.

Full of grace.

Did you ever think that your name would be known around the world?

You would have laughed, I think, if anyone would have suggested it.

Or were you resigned to ordinary life, fulfilling the duties of a daughter? Promised to marry an upright man and be a mother to many children?

You would have said this is the ordinary tradition, the destiny of all people, to nourish life.

O Sisters!

Ordinary.

Older.

Faithful ones.

Did you ever think that your names would remain ordinary?

You would have laughed had anyone said otherwise. Are you resigned to relative obscurity, praying and working and longing for Godʼs kingdom? Promised to seek God every day of your life and to listen to Godʼs Word?

Perhaps you will say this is the beautiful ordinary life, the destiny of all people, to long for and to nourish life.

O Christians! Confused. Bumbling. Precious People of God.

Did you ever think that your name would be known around the world?

You would have laughed if anyone had suggested it.

Or are you resigned to always react to the world, defining yourself in opposition to them? Where fear of others reigns, knowing and nourishing your own in the way you have always done?

You would have said this is the beautiful ordinary life, the destiny of all, to nourish our own.

O Culture!

Stumbling.

Misguided.

Milieu of human community.

Do you ever think that you would be known around the world?

You would have laughed if anyone had suggested it.

Or are you resigned to be a web of people, linking people together? Where gathering of different peoples and languages divide into smaller communities?

You may say that this is the ordinary human life, the destiny of humanity, to link together in discrete communities and nourish life.

O Emmanuel!

Among us.

One of us.

Often unnoticed.

You came to do Godʼs will. You came to nourish all life. You came to make strong the weak. You come even now in others, all unknown, and wait for us to listen to the whisperings and leapings of joy.

O Bethlehem! You were little to the world but open to the beauty of life. God brought forth from you abundance of life that would overflow the world.

O Elizabeth! You were not much to the world but open to the small whisperings and leapings of life. God brought forth from you inspirations of joy that resound through the world.

O Mary! You were little to the world but did small things well. God brought from you questions and the decision to nourish the unknown and dangerously loving life.

O Sisters! You are not much to the world of big flashy things but seek God in all things. God brings from you wisdom and the capacity to find God in all, even in those of other faiths or none.

O Christians! You are little to the world but in faith you are large. God brings from you the strength to be leaven of love in a fearful world, to fearlessly put love where there is no love.

O Culture! You are a small part of the world but, to those linked by you, you bring life. God brings from you the capacity to celebrate our common humanity, to transcend with love our small differences.

O Emmanuel! You were small, only one person, but you brought life to all. God brings from you love for all people, the Love that is you. All who love do your will and know you, all unknowing. Teach us to find love, to find you everywhere. You hold us all together in the womb of your love.

 

 

 

 

 

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