Monday of the Fourth Week in Advent
Malvern Minute


Monday of the Fourth Week in Advent

December 23, 2019

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24

Psalm 25

Luke 1:57-66

The arrival of a new baby has been a source of joy throughout the ages.  Babies are God’s way of saying the world should go on.  Each new child reflects a new dimension of the infinite beauty and mystery of God.  And by teaching us patience and selflessness, the little ones help us grow in holiness.  That said, let’s reflect on today’s Gospel of Saint Luke.

For the ancient Jews a name captured, even defined, a person’s identity.  So for Elizabeth to name her son “John” was significant.  It showed her recognition of God’s great plan for the child.  John was in the Father’s special care from the very start.   Even today, every child is loved by God and has a destiny in God’s plan.  Each of us has a vocation, a calling within our Church.  It is up to our parents, grandparents, godparents, our mentors, our teachers and to all those who guide our children to comply with our baptismal promises.

However, what about the baby’s dad?  Zechariah had doubted God and was struck mute.   He regains his speech only after publicly accepting God’s plan and allowing his newborn son to take the name, John.  We too might have a bit of Zechariah in us.  We resist God, only to hit a dead end.  Bad friendships, bad habits, and serious sin can eventually eat away at us.  Yet repentance is slow to come.  Why is that?  Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI answered that question by saying, “We think that evil is basically good.  We think that we need it, at least a little, in order to experience the fullness of being…if we look, however, at the world that surrounds us, we can see that this is not so; in other words, that evil is always poisonous, does not uplift human beings, but degrades and humiliates us.”

So, what then do we do?  We have a conversation with Jesus that may go like this:  Lord, you have put my family members and other loved ones in my life for a reason.  I am here to help them get to heaven, and they are to help me do the same.  Remind me of this truth, and especially help me not to interfere with the plans you have for all the children in my life.  Amen.

Question of the Day(s):  What have I done lately to help the little ones, born and unborn?  Is there a crisis-pregnancy center that could use my help?  Do I respect the dignity of all life?  How do I want today’s children to remember me through my example? 

Prayer:  Lord God, today I pray for all the children of the world.  May they receive love and guidance from their families, friends, teachers and mentors.  May they know your Son Jesus who teaches us to be childlike in our devotion to His Holy Word.



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