Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Dwelling in Faith

“...for nothing will be impossible for God.” - LK 1:26-38

All four candles are lit during this week, characterizing the cycle of a single day moving from dusk till dawn with a hope of light to emerge. Advent remains a continuous season of our spiritual life, encouraging us to reflect on who we think we are to what God has called us to be, from observant believers to active doers. It invites us to pause between our plans, goals, and agendas to face deeper issues. Shaking our steadiness, it challenges us to change our present situation and learn how to live with insecurity, develop deeper trust in the unknowns, and believe more fully in His promises. All easy to speak, yet sometimes difficult to truly accept.

Three days before Thanksgiving, I received news that my uncle was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and had only three to six months to live. My heart saddened and never was it so clear how much I loved and admired him. Upon arriving to Colorado, I was prepared to marinate in the pain. What struck me in spending time with my uncle was everything he was not - angry, felt cheated, or singled out by fate. He shared, “I am not afraid and feel blessed this lifetime. If this is His will, then I am in complete trust. But while I am here, I want to live each moment presently and enjoy it.”

My uncle modeled Mary for me this Advent. He showed me how to say ‘yes’ when it gets uncomfortable and inconvenient. He heard a summons from deep within and responded with love. He inspired me to ask myself, “Do I believe in His promises? How do I choose to wait?” All our lives God invites us to discover and accept who we are because each moment is part of an eternal process of becoming. He gives us the help, strength, and means to respond. We can either yield to His grace or resist and go on our way.

Lord, you enter into the heart of our transformation. Help us wait like Mary with willingness, obedience, and abiding trust.

Reflected by Tam Lontok

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