Be Loved. Be Moved. | Word from the Shepherd No. 111 | 4th Sunday of Advent Year B

4th Sunday Advent Year B
2Sam.7:1-5,8-14; Rom.16:25-27; Lk.1:26-38

Thomas Merton once said, “A shattering realisation is the outcome of a real religious experience”. David and even, Mary and many of the biblical heroes, apostles, saints and countless believers went through a shattering experience. One had to forego his plans to “build God a house”and surrendering to the fact that it was God who was building him a house. Mary began with a”how can this be” and eventually gave in to God’s will by saying: “let what you have said be done unto me”.

Shattering experiences opened them to new understanding and a new outlook. They did not become hateful of God, who upset their plans. They could differentiate the quality of their love and God’s love. They realised that their love flowed from a need, but God’s love was a free and unconditional GIFT.

As always, love is expressed in our giving or in our doing something. There are 3 levels of giving:

  1. OUR GIVING: It is a product of ‘what else can I do’. This is reflected in David, who has arrived at this point after many victories, successes and achievements. He had everything. It is human streak within all of us to ‘leave a mark in the world’. The footprints, the landmarks, monuments or impact on people’s lives are our success stories. A need in all of us to attain self actualisation and to be memorialised.
  2. GOD’s GIVING: It is something bigger than our giving or doing. It supersedes David’s plans. It is something and far-reaching. God goes beyond. HE builds a house for David, his offsprings and for an everlasting dynasty. It is a gift shared out of His goodness. And the greatest GIFT that was yet to come, was the GIVING of HIS SON.
  3. LOVED INTO GIVING: Mary reflected this form of giving. She became the dwelling place for the Living Word. She heard, received, carried and bore Him. The love message was heard, carried enduringly in fidelity, brought forth the Son, the Restorer of relationships, the Healer of broken persons, and the Re-builder of scattered peoples and nations. The love of God filled her and moved her to bear the Gift of Love to the world.

Today, what the world needs is “loving givers, loving builders”. How can we be one?

  1. Thomas Merton said that the starting point is when we realise that no matter how hateful we are to ourselves, we are not hateful to HIM.
  2. When we hear and let the WORD dwell in us, we will become aware of the ‘who we are’ and the ‘who we are to be’. The Word becomes present to us, affirming, enlightening and producing fruits.
  3. When we are committed in building with the Lord, persevering and enduring, lighting up the darkness of insensitivity, indifference, ignorance and malice.

The Living Word or the Word Incarnate is here to love us, so that we can become love-fired givers and builders.

Be Loved. Be Moved.