Fourth Sunday of Advent Year A December 19th, 2010

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Dear Parishioners,

Love is the theme of the 4th Sunday of Advent. A good definition of love is in the name that we see in the first reading and again when the prophecy is fulfilled in the Gospel reading: Emmanuel, which means “God is with us”. To have love is to have “God with us”. To give love is to give God who is with us.

Have you ever felt like you’ve run out of love to give? Well, that’s quite impossible, because God who is love is always with us even when we give out more love than we think we’re ready to give. We might get tired of loving someone who doesn’t equally love us back. We might even reach the point of despising someone who repeatedly hurts us, which makes us feel like we’ve run out of love for that person.

This is when we need to ask God for a supernatural ability to love with his love. This prayer always works! It’s how we become effective evangelizers as distributors of his love. If we give God’s love to those who are unpleasant to love, we’re revealing to them God who is with us.

And when we’re worn out and feeling empty because others are not loving us like they should, we need to remind ourselves that God is with us – we need to call upon Emmanuel. God who is with us already loves us fully and unconditionally, whether or not we deserve it. While we’re looking for others to love us more than they do, we feel un-loved, but if we keep our eyes on Jesus, His love fills in all the gaps.

Emmanuel it’s a name for Jesus that we should use year round.

As you finish preparing for the celebration of Christmas, focus on Emmanuel. Sing to Emmanuel. Pray to Emmanuel. This sign, this reminder, this name is God’s personal Christmas gift to YOU.

Fr. Leo