December 19, 2012
Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy
Judges 13:2-7, 24-25a
Psalm 71:3-4a, 5-6ab, 16-17
Today’s readings carry several themes. The first reading and the Gospel speak of proclamations: twin announcements of the coming of a child through the grace of God to women who were otherwise barren. The word came as a promise delivered by an angel. In each case, a child is born and the prophecy fulfilled. In essence, God kept his promise to these couples. The connection of the two promises is that the children born become significant figures in the preparation for the coming of Jesus. Perhaps these readings invite us to reflect on what aspects of our faith are challenged. Maybe it is our not getting recognition for something we worked hard to accomplish or not hearing news we wanted. Do we have the “presence” evidenced in these biblical women to see God’s grace even in difficult times? Sometimes the angel delivering the message is not so obvious.
The other theme apparent here celebrates the strong connection of a child with God. In the lines of the responsorial psalm we hear “on you I depend from my birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength” (v.6). In this Advent season, when we reflect upon the coming of Jesus and His birth fulfilling God’s prophesy, it can remind us how all children are blessed from the womb. We need only remember this and draw on it for our strength and refuge as we grow. It requires a faith and trust in the gift that has been “present” in us from birth. This is a wonderful season to reflect on that special bond with God.