Summary: The Fourth Sunday of Advent
The Invisible Angel
Dear sisters and brothers,
Today, we have the text from the Gospel according to Luke (Luke 1:26-38) for our reflection on the fourth Sunday of Advent:
“The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favour with God.
“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.”
We are going to reflect on a few points that are taken from the above gospel text.
Now, let us meditate on them one by one.
1. The Angel:
Mary personally experiences a totally different angel as a messenger from God.
God sent the angel “Gabriel”.
In the Bible, the archangel ‘Gabriel’ who foretold the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26–38), and who also appeared to Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, and to Daniel.
We ask ourselves and the others: Why does the angel not come to us today when we struggle, when we go through pain and suffering, when we experience pain of COVID-19, the pandemic and so on?
We believe in angels…
Certainly, it raises the other question: Who is the Angel?
To understand who the angel is, we have to know the meaning of ‘angel’.
What is the meaning of ‘angel’?
The dictionary gives us many different meanings for ‘angel’.
It may mean :
a. A spiritual being believed to act as an attendant, as an agent, or as a messenger of God, conventionally represented in human form with wings and a long robe.
b. A person of exemplary conduct or virtue.
c. A person’s outstanding beauty, qualities, or abilities.
d. A word or phrase expressing love or affection.
e. A person, who is kind or helpful.
f. A person, who supports a business financially.
g. In phrases:
i. The angel in the house: an idealised woman/man who is completely devoted to his/her wife/husband and family.
ii. On the side of the angels: on the side of what is right.
In the text, we have the angel, who brings good tidings to Mary.
Our life experience shows that all the time in our lives, we experience an angel of attendant, an angel of agent, an angel of messenger, an angel of good conduct person and virtuous persons, an angel of beauty, an angel of quality of relationship, an angel of ability to reach out to many in the time of need, an angel of love, an angel of affection, an angel of kind person, an angel of helpful person, an angel with a generous heart, an angel who is a good family member and an angel who is on the side of what is right in post-truth world: to the hopeless individual, to the hopeless people, to the hopeless family, to the hopeless society, to the hopeless world to give a good example, to live a wholistic life in the presence of God as Mary experienced in her life.
We experience the angel in our lives all the time.
Dear sisters and brothers,
The Archangel Gabriel is the perfect example for the messenger of God.
Someone comes for our help when we need the most in our lives.
Someone prays for us as an agent for our intentions without our knowledge.
Someone brings the good news when we are in our hopeless situations as a hopeful messenger.