22. Behold the Savior Comes
Fourth Sunday of Advent
By Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
1) “Call together the nations, tell it among the people and say: Behold our Savior cometh!” (Roman Breviary). The message becomes more and more urgent: in a few days, the Word of God made flesh will show Himself to the world. We must hasten our preparations and make our hearts worthy of Him.
The Incarnation of the Word is the greatest proof of God’s infinite love for men; today’s liturgy very appropriately recalls to our mind the wonderful words: “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore have I drawn thee, taking pity on thee” (Jer. 31:3). Yes, God has loved man from all eternity, and in order to draw him to Himself, He did not hesitate to send “His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3). With hearts full of love, we must run to meet Love Who is about to appear “incarnate” in the Infant Jesus. May it be a love that is faithful in great things as well as in small, an ingenious love. “Love is repaid by love!” This is the motto which has made saints, and spurred a multitude of souls to greater generosity.
With this love prepare for Christmas. Be in this love faithful, for as St. Paul says in the Epistle (1 Cor. 4:1-5), “What we desire is that everyone may be found faithful.”
2) “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths. Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low.” The voice of John the Baptist, the great Advent preacher, is heard again in today’s Gospel (Luke 3:1-16), inviting us to prepare “the way of the Lord.”
This invitation is especially a call to humility; John was not only the herald of this virtue, but its model too. We know, by the testimony of Jesus Himself, that he was “more than a prophet” and that “there hath not risen among them, that are born of women, a greater than John the Baptist” (Matt. 11:9, 11). John claimed to be nothing more than a mere voice, “the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord,” and declared that he baptized only with water, while another would come who would baptize in the Holy Spirit, another of whom John protested himself unworthy to loose “the latchet of His shoe” (John 1:23, 27). And further, speaking of the Savior’s coming, John adds, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Today’s Office gathers up all this magnificent testimony of St. John the Baptist, as if to give us a concrete idea of the profound sentiments of humility with which, in our heart, we ought to make smooth “the way of the Lord.’“ If the valleys, that is, our deficiencies, are to be filled up by love, then the mountains and hills, that is, the vain pretenses of pride, must be made low by humility.
A heart filled with self-love and pride cannot be filled with God, and too small will be the place reserved in it for the sweet Babe of Bethlehem.
Text taken from Divine Intimacy (Baronius Press, 2015), pp. 63-64.