As the season of Advent comes to its completion, the Liturgy for the Fourth Sunday of Advent features the gospel scene of announcement to Mary that she will bear the Christ-child for the world. The angel tells her, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” These words are echoed each time we pray the Hail Mary in the rosary. The angel adds, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” This is the most often repeated divine message to human beings.
The angel’s words are as important to us as they are to Mary. The Lord is with us in so many assuring ways. The celebration of the Liturgy gives us a first-hand experience of this presence. It is a presence stronger than any human fears.
In these final days of Advent, think of the ways you especially know the nearness of the Lord in your life, in your family, in the Church, in the world God has created.