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THE LORD HAS VISITED HIS PEOPLE

Father Francis's picture
Fourth Week of Advent

2 Sam. 7:1-5,8-12,14,16 & Lk. 1:67-79

Does the proclamation of the Gospel fill you with joy and hope? When the Lord comes to redeem us He will fill us with His Holy Spirit, the source of our joy and hope in the promises of God.

When John was circumcised on the eighth day according to the Jewish rite, his father Zechariah was "filled with the Holy Spirit" and with great joy. Inspired he spoke prophetic words and a hymn of blessing for the work of redemption which God was about to accomplish in Christ. He foresaw the fulfilment of God's promise to David and his descendants that their dynasty would endure forever through the coming of the Messianic King (2 Samuel 7:16). This King would establish peace and security for His people. We often think of peace as the absence of trouble. The peace which the Messiah brings cancels the debt of sin and restores our broken relationship with God.

The Holy Spirit gave Zechariah a vision for his own son as a prophet and forerunner who would prepare the way for the Messiah. Every devout Jew longed for the day when the Messiah would come. Now Zechariah knows beyond any doubt that that day is very near.

Like Zechariah, the Holy Spirit wants to give us vision, joy, and confidence in the knowledge of God's merciful love, protection and care which He offers us through His Son Jesus Christ. Like the Baptist, we too are called to prepare the way that leads to Christ.

Life is a journey and we are either moving towards the Lord or away from Him. The Lord comes to visit us each day with His life-giving Word and Spirit. Those who hunger for the Lord will not be disappointed. He will draw them to Himself and show them His love and mercy.

In sending the Messiah God has made a gracious visit to His people to redeem them. This was the mission for which Jesus Christ was sent into the world - to redeem those who are slaves to sin. In the feast of the Incarnation we celebrate this truth.

Holy Spirit, inspire us and fill us with joy and boldness to proclaim the message of the Lord's visitation and redemption both now and in the year to come. "Lord, you have been gracious and merciful towards your people. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit that we may bear witness to the joy of the Gospel to those around us."

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