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4th Sunday of Advent, C

life-is-meant-to-be-happyAre you happy? Oh, I know, this is a personal question and you need not answer me. Some philosophers or ‘masters’, or ‘gurus’ will tell us that, yes, « Life is meant to be happy ». But… we all know that true happiness seems, at times, to be in short supply for many people. If you asked yourself and tried to reply in all honesty to the question, what would you say? Perhaps you would admit that you are sometimes truly happy but that, at other times, you are not carried by a big wave of happiness. But, if you pursue your introspection, or soul searching, and look at what makes you truly happy you may admit that the love of those around you, good health, success in your daily activities, some appreciation of friends and colleagues – all this can bring some measure of happiness, yet . . .

If someone dared to ask: « Are you happy because you believe? » You may be taken aback and, to save time before you give an answer, you may ask the person: « What did you say – happy because… I believe? » You may never had thought about it… happiness born of… faith.


In the gospel of this 4th Sunday of Advent, this is what Mary’s cousin, Elisabeth, told her: « Happy (or blessed, in some translations) is she who believed… » (Luke 1:45).
In the early Church, there was a tradition that honoured Mary more because of her faith than because of her being the Mother of God. At first, this may seem surprising, but when we think of it, somehow, it makes sense! God asking Mary to be the Mother of his Son, was a great gift HE was giving her – making her the Mother of God! But Mary accepting this very special offer – believing that God wanted her to be exactly that – was HER gift to God! Of course, she said her ‘Yes’ with the help of the Holy Spirit, but it was HER ‘Yes’! Elisabeth added: « … because you believed that the promise of the Lord would be fulfilled ».
Have you thought of giving God a gift this Christmas? Another question you need not answer … but you may like to think about it, and FAITH in his promises to you might be… the perfect gift for HIM! 

Religious Art, Dorothy Webster, Blessed Mother, The Visitation on Pintarest


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