We have come to the final Sunday of Advent and the last few days before Christmas. In the Gospel today we read St. Luke’s account of the Annunciation. It’s an important and significant biblical story in which we hear of the key role played by Mary in facilitating the revelation of God’s love for all humanity through the birth of Jesus.

The Annunciation story is deserving of considerable reflection by every Christian person. Here we see Mary open to the call from God to cooperate in his plan of salvation. Naturally Mary had concerns and struggled to grasp the meaning of what was being proposed. Ultimately Mary trusted in God and said yes to God.

Like Mary, we too are invited today to hear the call of God and to work at making known to the whole world, especially at Christmas time, the birth of Jesus who comes to save us. If we say yes to God, as Mary did, wonderful things can happen as the grace of God works in us. Christ is born anew every day in the hearts of people as they come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

In a world which has become very secular, and which during this past year has been devastated by the Covid-19 virus, the birth of Jesus is a message of love that offers hope. It’s a message of light in a time of darkness for many people, a joyful message that brings meaning and perspective and helps us cope with all the trials and tribulations we face in daily life.

Fr. Kieran Coghlan