Fourth Sunday of Advent
by Fr. Ivan Olmo
“The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.” Have you ever stopped, really stopped to limit your thought process and enter more fully into a moment of true reflection to contemplate Emmanuel, God with us? What does God with us mean to you? What is God inviting you to consider, think about, contemplate when scripture declares, “God is with you” or the priest says, “the Lord be with you” or Jesus says, “behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age?” What does that say to you? Is there something you wish to say or something you wish to consider in the fact that nothing can separate you from the love of God? That God is with you always, desires to be with you always, longs to be with you always, hopes to be with you always. The essence of God has been poured into our hearts. His Spirit moves and breathes inside of you, dwells inside of you, lives and ministers inside of you, cries and moans inside of you. God sees what you are seeing. God hears what you hear and are listening to. God is aware of ever thought that passes through your mind. Every image you meditate, color, contemplate, dress or undress. God is actively present to every conversation that takes place in words, in thoughts and in your imagination. God is present when we rest and sleep from a long day of work, school or leisure. He is present to us through those long, dreary, lonely sleepless nights filled with the burdens of anxiousness, worry and concern. Or, the addictions that haunt us and call to us when darkness and fatigue creep in during that dark, cold endless night. He is present like the dawn to welcome us into a new day filled with many gracious opportunities to welcome him. God is always present to hear us, listen to us and to love us, which is what we really need. Someone who is there for us, cares for us, listens to us, simply loves us and is with us no matter the circumstance, situation or the moment we are experiencing. God is always there for us. He is always here with us. What would you ask this year for Christmas? New wheels or a gold shiny thing? Perhaps the latest electronic gizmo or something new to wear or put on? Why not ask God for the grace to make you more aware that he is always with you.