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4th Sunday of Advent, Year A – 2022-2023

“God needs help!”
If you saw this caption in a magazine about spiritual reflections, or biblical matters, you may smile and…
turn the page, saying this is not serious.
Yet, it is truly deep theology, authentic understanding of who God is indeed.

The gospel texts of Luke and Matthew bear witness to this very clearly.

When, in his wisdom, God decided to reach us in becoming one of us, he needed the help of a woman of our race.
He chose a young Jewish woman, Mary of Nazareth, and asked her to become the mother of his Son (Luke 1:26-38).

When God needed someone to stand visibly for his own Spirit giving life to the child in the womb of that young woman, 
he asked Joseph to take on this responsibility (Matthew 1:18-24).

Some people would say that being all-powerful, God should not need help.
But who are we to say what God should be doing?
His choices are beyond our understanding.

Beyond our understanding, yes, but they express God’s desire to share with us what he wants to do for us, human beings.
He wants our help to achieve what is best for us!

Is this not absolutely wonderful?
We sometimes elaborate subtle theories about God, we use abstract concepts to speak about him.
And we forget this: God has chosen us to collaborate with him for what is best for us!

As we are busy preparing for Christmas – the celebration, the gifts, the guestlist…
it may be good to remember that God may need us to make Christmas a happy occasion for some people who would not manage on their own to make it so…

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French at:


Source: Images: Pinterest    Born of Wonder


4th Sunday of Advent, Year B – 2020

We get used to things that we do often; used also to the words we repeat day after day.
The words we speak during our liturgical celebrations are no exception and…
sad to say, all too often we repeat them with our minds busy with all kinds of other thoughts.

During the Eucharistic celebration (the Mass) more than once, the priest tells us:
“The Lord be with you.”
We respond immediately – or at least, most of us do –
“And also with you.”
These 5 words addressed to us by the celebrant sound somehow like a wish,
a prayerful one but still a wish.
I know a few priests who rather say: “The Lord IS with you.”
These are the very words with which the angel Gabriel greeted Mary.
We hear them again in today’s gospel text (Luke 1:26-38).
I wonder if Mary was surprised?… Amazed?… Delighted?…
Wondering what would follow this greeting?…
Did she truly believe the message these words expressed?
The first time I heard the words repeated during Mass, I was suddenly made aware of what was said… to ME!
And, for some time after, I kept repeating silently to myself: The Lord is with me…
Perhaps this is the purpose of the period of Advent: to realize that God is with us –
yes, already with us!
We need not wait for the Nativity scene to make us believe it.

The reproduction of the Holy Family in a stable, or a cave, or any kind of shelter, will not make this more real.
It will only be a reminder of who God is now and for ever: EMMANUEL – GOD-WITH-US.

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at:


Source: Image: YouTube