The Angel Candle – symbolising PEACE

Today is the fourth and last Sunday of Advent. Today’s celebration is a great assurance of the everlasting love of God revealed in his covenant with his servant David. In our first reading, in appreciation of God’s love, David wished to build a house for God. However, God would not allow him but makes a promise to David, and sealed it with a covenant: “…I will preserve the offspring of your body after you…I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to me …your throne will be established forever” This promise and covenant is what we expect to be fulfilled soon; this evening. In our second reading, Paul gives glory to God because of the strength he gave him to preach the Good News – the Good News about this great mystery. He equally, throws more light on the fact that Jesus is the Mystery that has been kept hidden for ages. His revelation is the salvation of the world. This good news is the mystery that God himself concealed in the old covenant.

The Gospel of today presents us with two important figures in the drama of the Nativity of Christ. First the angel Gabriel, the faithful messenger, and bearer of the great news about the fulfillment of a promise. Second, Mary whose role in the history of salvation stands out clearly today. She receives the message with humility: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your words.” With these humble words, she accepted her role in the history of salvation. Mary’s faith was a statement of her total self-donation to God’s own will for our salvation. Her response was a statement of her humility, generosity, courage, and love for humanity. Mary’s generosity reminds us that this is a season of joy, receiving, and sharing. Today, as the angel brought the good news to Mary, we must continue spreading this message. As we wait for the next couple of hours for the manifestation of the new covenant and the fulfillment of God’s promise to his servant David, let us join the psalmist in proclaiming: “I will sing forever of your love, O lord.  In all the ages, my mouth will proclaim your truth!”

Image by  Helen Rosenthal, RSCJ.

This fourth Sunday, we light the fourth candle of Advent called the “Angel Candle” which symbolises PEACE. This comes from the angel’s announcement that Jesus came to bring peace (Luke 2:14). We are reminded that Jesus came to bring peace to our hearts and our world! The promise and covenant made to David, preached by St Paul and fulfilled through the Virgin Mary’s humble generosity challenge us in humility to accept God’s message – Jesus Christ – the Prince of peace, and spread him to the world but since we cannot give what we do not have, let us first accept the peace in our lives, spread it to our communities where we live and only then, can we make an impact in the world.

As we stand on the brink of Christmas, the 4th Sunday of Advent invites us to reflect on our own willingness to accept God’s plan with humility and trust.

  • Like Mary, are we open to being bearers of Christ into the world?
  • Are we attentive to the promises God has made and the ways in which they unfold in our lives?

This Sunday encourages us to embrace the divine mystery with open hearts, recognizing that God’s promises are fulfilled in unexpected ways. May our reflections lead us to a deeper appreciation of the profound love God has poured into the world through the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Rose Gichangi, RSCJ

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