Fourth Sunday of Advent
Today’s Gospel, the Annunciation, reminds us that the first Christmas and the events leading up to it was a very messy affair. Mary’s “yes” to God’s invitation comes at a time which was unexpected and perhaps even unwanted given her age and position in Jewish Society. So often life is chaotic, unexpected and unwanted as we have experienced ’close up’ this week as the events in
Martin Place so tragically unfolded. We think also of the hundreds of innocent children in Pakistan so brutally killed and what families must be feeling at this time.
Our Advent waiting confronts these realities not with simple answers but with a challenge. The editorial of the Sydney Morning Herald last Tuesday spoke of the events in Martin Place as first and foremost a test of our empathy. Along with the innocent victims and their loved ones, the paper went on to say “Perhaps we face an even more difficult test of our empathy as well. How should we feel for the perpetrator and his family…. Forgiving him will be very difficult and it will take time. Without forgiveness, though, we have to live with destructive hate.”
The coming of Christ challenges us at the very core of our existence including our sometimes natural feelings for revenge under the banner of “justice.” Our response to the events of this week will reveal as the Herald said, “who are we, how we are to respond to criminal dangers in our midst and, most confronting, what sort of nation we want to be.”
This week's parish bulletin
(For urgent or late notices not available when the bulletin was printed
please click on Stop Press)