December 20, 2020
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Jesus With Us
The angel Gabriel…coming to her…said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled… Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary…”
Luke 1:26, 28-30

As I am writing this reflection, the whole world is greatly troubled by the pandemic of the coronavirus. We are constantly being instructed on what to do to keep ourselves and others safe. One thing stands out above all—we are to keep washing our hands for at least 20 seconds. Instead of timing it by singing Happy Birthday, I learned to say the Hail Mary twice. What a grace, as I wash and pray, to hear Gabriel’s words to Mary spoken now to me: “The Lord is with you! Do not be afraid.” What a grace to feel Mary’s loving care for us! When this gospel is read in Advent, Christmas will be just five days away. Whatever has happened to our world by then, because of Mary’s “Yes,” Jesus, Immanuel, will be with us.

Pray for us, Mary, that we may be able to be together, preparing to celebrate the happiest birthday of all time.

- Patricia Livingston

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 • Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29 • Romans 16:25-27 • Luke 1:26-38

Comments

December 20, 2020 at 04:50 PM

Patricia, thank you for your devotion. * “The Lord is with you! Do not be afraid.” Jesus our Lord and savior is always with us especially in the midst of pandemic, the coronavirus, covid-19. Yes, whatever may happen to our world by Christmas, may we rely on the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother to bring about the birth of Christ more vividly in our own souls. Blessed Mother Mary, guide and lead us to your son, help us prepare our hearts for the coming of your son Jesus on Christmas day. * God Bless our Living Faith Family and continued prayers for all.

December 20, 2020 at 03:15 PM

Sharing with you an email just now from Joanne C of Hamilton Ontario Canada, "hi my health has been very challenging mentally and physically since last email. wasn't sure at times how or where i would celebrate Jesus birth possibly en route to heaven thanks be to God's help on many fronts improvement slowly happens. He does have a sense of humour helping when praying in bed my confused forgetful mind would start one prayer and switch to another which i have known them by heart all my life. your mention of me brought tears of gratitude and joy . prayers to all my living faith family. would it be possible to add this link, if it works? it was produced by Canada's Salt and Light TV network early in covid19 and listening to it most days that i could get to mt computer, or singing in my mind from recent choir at the Church seen from window has been a great help ***be not afraid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RF0DIpFOoBg&feature=emb_rel_pause*** for the zoom is there any way those unable to participate could try to watch it? even if not i plan to be with you in spirit. joyful fourth week of Advent to all, a zinger zoom, and MERRY CHRISTMAS. sadly Hamilton goes into lock-down midnight tonight i doubt any place of worship will be open for our safety as we work with God to control this virus. may all help to do so and be safe. joanne"

December 20, 2020 at 12:13 PM

Amen

December 20, 2020 at 11:32 AM

Amen.

December 20, 2020 at 10:59 AM

Amen! Thank you for this beautiful message.

December 20, 2020 at 09:56 AM

God fulfilling his promises. We hear in the first reading, God reminding David of all he has done for God’s people. He speaks about the promised messiah will come from his family line. God will be like a father to him and he like a son than his kingdom will never come to an end. We know God is referring to his Heavenly Kingdom, and he is the father and Jesus the son. In today’s Gospel, again we see God’s fulfilling promise to us as well, through our Heavenly Mother Mary. Thank you Mary for your firm Yes and bringing Jesus to all of us. Nothing is impossible for God, when we say YES and believe. You can clearly see all of the wonderful, thoughtful, blessed gifts, graces our God extends to us each and everyday. Please Put Him First, ask him to forgive us for our sins and begin a new. What a blessing. Prayers for all of the Living Family, all the souls in Purgatory and for the ones who do not have anyone to pray for them. Amen

December 20, 2020 at 09:45 AM

Beautiful devotional comments about saying the Hail Mary twice when washing your hands. Although many will not be able to be with their families this Christmas we can certainly Zoom or make a phone call to our loved ones, friends and neighbors. He is good and righteous and knows whats best for us. Listen to the Holy Spirit he will guide us and may your Guardian Angel protect you from any harm or evil. Continued prayers for all the LF community.

December 20, 2020 at 09:30 AM

I continue to ask you to pray for Jessi!: ***Praying for God’s favor and protection physically, mentally and spiritually for Jessi! ***Jessi - flying out to Gallup, NM Sunday morning, 12/20, joining with Team Rubicon (https://teamrubiconusa.org/) to serve the Navajo Nation (https://youtu.be/W1d6I2sat1g ) as an EMT returning to Raleigh NC on Tuesday, 12/29. Your prayers are very much appreciated!!! If you watch the second video on the Navajo Nation project, one of the volunteers said that she would do the best to protect herself, but she accepted the reality that she would probably get the virus in that environment...So we pray, "God Almighty! El Shaddai!!! El Shaddai by Amy Grant https://youtu.be/clt8BoHb0JE Amen! And I say Amen again and again :-)

Tillie
December 20, 2020 at 03:59 PM

Salina, I am and will be praying for Jessi. Jessi is a very strong and courageous person joining with Team Rubicon to serve the Navajo Nation, especially during the covid-19, very dangerous. May God be with her and protect and keep her safe. God Bless Her.

CC
December 20, 2020 at 11:31 AM

Salina will be praying for Jessi and all the medical volunteers to keep them safe!

Gayle LaPointe
December 20, 2020 at 11:30 AM

Salina, that I wondered about too. Ths difference in how Mary was treated and how Zechariah was treated. Ah! Faith! Thank you for explaining.

Tim
December 20, 2020 at 09:34 AM

Salina, adding Jessi to my daily prayer list now. She serves others, putting her own needs, wants on the back burner. May God protect her and help her, be at her side, each step of the way. Merry Christmas Jessi.

December 20, 2020 at 08:57 AM

It is interesting to compare the responses (questions) of Mary in today's Gospel with Zechariah in yesterday's Gospel: ***Mary, "How can this be?" ***Zechariah, "How shall I know this?" Are their questions different? I'm not sure, but I know God's responses to their questions are different: ***Mary, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." ***Zechariah, "But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe My Words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time." So my conclusions: ***Mary believed God and asked how God was going to do this? ***Zachariah didn't believe and asked how God could prove to him this was going to happen? What does my responses (questions) to God's proclamation in His Word look like in my heart? Do I believe what He says in His Word? Do I believe God will do this and ask how God will do this or do I ask God to prove to me so I believe? Bottom line for me: Is my cart in front of my horse or my horse in front of my cart? ***That is exactly what happened (the cart in front of his horse) to David after God has given him rest form his enemies in the first reading...what do you mean? David thought he would build God a house now that he is king and successful! God told David that it was God Himself Who did everything for him and God never asked anyone to build Him a house in all of Israel's history!!! It was God's plan to have Solomon, David's son, to build Him a house, not Daivid!!! Do I get in front of God's plan and do 'good' things in my own ways and in my own timing? Absolutely I do :-( Because that makes me feel useful and grateful...that also makes me the god of my own life too :-( You see, when I decide to do 'good' things for God and not wait for the Holy Spirit to tell and show me what to do...I put myself on the driver seat as a backseat driver! Hence, the cart in fornt of the horse :-( It is so easy to do becuase I am prideful, the deadliest sin of all sins!!! It is not about what I do for God in return, but What Jesus ahs already done for me, period!!! *******Who Am I by Casting Crown https://youtu.be/3rT8Re1EIQc ***Not because of who I am But because of what You've done Not because of what I've done But because of Who You are!!! Amen :-)

Tim
December 20, 2020 at 09:31 AM

Salina, I do not want to sound like a broken record, but well done. What an awesome collections of thoughts put together like a very confusing puzzle. Thank you for letting us know to trust and believe God. As you mention, when we try to do it our way, on our own, fix it, then is when we are truly on our own. We could not be further from God at these times. May thanks and we will see you on Wednesday on the call. Have a blessed Sunday and thank you so much for all your insights here.

December 20, 2020 at 08:41 AM

I pray today to say “Yes” without thinking about it. And, Thank You Salina for your “Yes” to bring the LF Family together! How wonderful this will be to put prayers and faces together! God Bless Us, And All Who We Love!

Kjc
December 20, 2020 at 09:55 AM

I will pray for Jessi right now and ask my grandson to pray for her when I meet with him this morning. Since I don't have my 2nd grade class I am helping my Grandson who is in another parish with his lesson I am going to tell him how to pray for someone. I am praying for the living faith family and all the essential workers. Ken

December 20, 2020 at 08:14 AM

(This is the last posting until we meet on Zoom :-) You are invited to join us!!! Here is the date, time and schedule of our Living Faith Pre-Christmas Party on Zoom! ***Date: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 ***Time: 1:00pm-1:40pm EST (please determine your local time) Schedule ***1) 00-02 min Opening Prayer ***2) 02-12 min Introduce Yourself: Name, location and outside air temperature ***3) 12-22 min Ice Breaker: Would you rather? ***4) 22-37 min Sharing: What's God doing this week in your life? Or show us your one favorite ornament and tell the story ***5) Post on Chat Your Prayer Requests ***6) Post on Chat Your One Question You Want to Ask God ***7) 37-40 min Closing prayer in a (sing-along) song video *******If the above schedule works for you to join us on Zoom, please email me at syhsmith@comcast.net and I will forward you the Zoom details :-) ***Yes: Debbie B, Joe B, Ken B, Linda B, Ken C, Lia C, Tim G, Pam H, Kathy J, Ann L, Samuel S, and Sid S :-) ***May Be: Tillie B, Ann F, Pat G and Beth N! ***And last but not the least No: Joanne C (an absolute yes in prayer) will be praying for us everyday, has a Win 7 laptop and no cell phone (I truly appreciate her heart and faithfulness :-) and Nancy R (schedule conflict) ***Montecier P with an undeliverable email address?

Salina
December 20, 2020 at 09:14 AM

That is an excellent idea, Annette! I have done that in the past. However, I am concerned and responsible for everyone's safety and privacy issues. I trust but then I don't trust! Remember 'Patricia'? She told us her life struggles here and when we tried to help, she disappeared? I want to have the first Zoom where we can see each other and connect in prayers! I have sent the Zoom info to an email address that keeps undeliverable? I pray for safety, protection and open-hearts for the Zoom chat and may this Zoom chat be pleasing and honoring aroma rising up to the Throne as we praise Him in our connecting conversations!!!

Annette
December 20, 2020 at 08:27 AM

Do you know that you can call in with a regular telephone for a Zoom meeting? A phone number is also provided with all the other links. So Joanne could participate with her home phone. Selena you would have to mute and unmute her on your end. Maybe you could set up a test Zoom with her prior to Wednesday and test it out? I participate in a Zoom Mass where several people call in using their phone.

December 20, 2020 at 07:56 AM

AMEN. May God Bless the Living Faith Family.

Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

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