Soul Food for Sundays

Soul Food for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, (Christmas Eve), 24th December 2023

Reflections 24th December 2023
Luke 1:26-38

The Author: Victoria Byrne
calendar_today Date: December 10, 2023 - 3 minutes read

Advent is my favourite Church season; during this season, we see so many examples of our faith in action. Over the last couple of weeks each one of us has been involved in a charity event to raise awareness and support for a worthy cause and you most likely would have heard of many other similar events taking place. We are called as Christians to be of service to those in need, and during Advent we find so many examples of people doing just that. As is sung in one of my favourite Christmas movies, The Muppets Christmas Carol:

It is the season of the heart
A special time of caring
The ways of love made clear
It is the season of the spirit
The message if we hear it
Is make it last all year.

At this time of year, we recall and carry out family traditions while making new ones. Each family has their own traditions from putting up Christmas decorations to baking Christmas treats. The most significant element of these traditions is that they reflect our Christian values because love, the centre of our faith, is the motivation for doing them.

In my own family, my favourite tradition when I was growing up took place on Christmas Eve when all the rushing around for getting ready for Christmas day was completed. As a family, we would gather to listen to three different readings: The Christmas Carol, ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and finally The Nativity from our family Bible, and we would place baby Jesus in the crib. In all the busyness of Advent, as we gathered before our family crib, this was a very special moment that brought to life the hope, love, joy and peace of the season.

At the heart of Advent is the preparation for the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child: the Child that God sent to us because He loves us. We reflect on the past and we look with hope to the future. We listen to familiar accounts from the Gospel, such as The Annunciation that we hear today. We celebrate Emmanuel which simply means “God with us.” God is always present with us because He loves us, we only need to follow the example of Mary and place our trust in Him. We should not lose sight of the fact that Mary was a teenager. Even though she said “yes”, it would be safe to assume that she may have felt nervous or anxious about how everything would come to fruition. However, Mary did not let her fears get in the way of her trust in God and His love.

May we always celebrate this precious gift of God’s love for each one of us all year round. As we celebrate Christmas Eve, I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

Image by Dar1930 from Pixabay

The Spiritans Emblem

Victoria Byrne

Chaplain in Willow Park Junior School, Victoria is a graduate of Theology & Arts in St Patrick’s Pontifical University and has a Master’s in European History (Maynooth) and Chaplaincy & Pastoral Studies (DCU).