The Fourth Sunday of Advent reminds me that all of our acts of co-creation with God begin first with God. Whether our role is being a parent, a priest or religious, or as a catechist and teacher we should look to Mary as our proper model for figuring out what it means to co-create with God.
In the first reading God reminds the prophet Nathan that it is He who will build a house for David: one that is everlasting. “Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.” (2 Sm. 17:16). The Responsorial Psalm reminds me that my primary role as a step-parent and a Catechist is that of witness and that, “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.” (Psalm 89) Saint Paul reminds me that I need to focus on Sacred Scripture and Tradition when he wrote, “according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages but now manifested through the prophetic writings and, according to the command of the eternal God, made known to all ages to bring about the obedience of faith.” (Rom 16:26) I am also reminded from the Benedictines that the root of the word obedience is “to listen”. Finally, Mary crowns this week’s lesson with an example of what it means to question God in obedience. To ponder God’s desire to enter into humanity through our efforts given to God in obedience is answered in Mary’s fiat, “May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
So many times I think I spend too much time planning for events, family and ministry, and not enough time listening to God and His people. I am like David who wants to build a house for God, and yet I forget that God has already begun this work in my family and in those with whom I minister. As we prepare for the liturgical season of Christmas let us take time to consider our prayer practices we enter into to let God permeate the stones of our lives so that the work of our hands are an act of co-creation with God.
Reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Advent by John Gaffney, Diocesan Director for the Evangelization and Catechesis Department.