Fourth Sunday of Advent


Today, on this fourth Sunday of Advent, we enjoy hearing the familiar story of the Annunciation, when God sends the angel Gabriel to ask Mary to be the Mother of God.  As I prayed this morning, I was struck by the thought how could it possibly be the fourth Sunday of Advent already?  Where did the time go?  Advent felt like it flew by this year for me.

Today’s Gospel is a favorite of mine and I am always touched by Mary’s “Yes.”  A young woman, betrothed to Joseph, has an incredible experience when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her and asked her to be the mother of the Messiah.  When I watched the Mass on television this morning the singer sang the familiar song “Hail Mary, Gentle Woman.”

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death.  Amen.

Gentle woman, quiet light, morning star, so strong and bright, gentle Mother, peaceful dove, teach us wisdom; teach us love.

You were chosen by the Father; you were chosen for the Son.  You were chosen from all women and for woman, shining one.

Blessed are you among women, blest in turn all women, too.  Blessed they with peaceful spirits. Blessed they with gentle hearts.

I remember learning this song many years ago and always enjoyed singing it during the Advent season.  When it was sung this morning, I found myself singing along with it.  These words summarize for me in a special way who Mary is for me.  She was chosen and responded.

As we prepare for Christmas in five short days let us remember that we too are called and chosen and need to continually respond as Mary did.  May we have the courage and perseverance of Mary in all we do