4th Sunday of Advent

Scrooge Tombstone

Study:  Recall a time when you were confronted with a tough decision.  What helped you to make and carry out your choice?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the wisdom and guidance to make daily decisions that are filled with grace.

Serve:  Is there someone in your life facing tough decisions right now?  How can you help them?

4th Sunday of Advent Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily

A Christmas Carol

Part IV: Scrooge’s Choice

There comes a point in A Christmas Carol where we begin to understand Ebenezer Scrooge.  We’ve seen his past, present, and future – how he’s interacted with people – and we come to crux of the matter: will he make a change?  Will he embrace the warnings and lessons of the Ghosts and chart a new course for his life?

Every person has a story.  Every person has had moments of joy and sadness, success and failure, blessing and burden.  Yet in the course of our lives we have been given the gift of choosing how we will live; the Lord offers us the freedom to accept or reject a life of love.   We, too, have been given opportunities to reflect and decide how we will live.  What do we choose?

In the Gospel today Mary greets her kinswoman Elizabeth, who also recognizes something wonderful has happened.  The baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped from joy – a sign that God was present in a powerful way.  Elizabeth understood that God was working in Mary’s life, and she responded to this insight accordingly.

There comes a moment in our lives when we discover something new.  Perhaps we have seen a mistake in the past or regret an action that we have done; at these times we encounter a reason to hope and start over.  We have a reason to live with joy.

It is this sense of hope which can give us new life.  Emerging from doubt or despair, we rediscover that God walks with and among us – helping us in moments of sadness and leading us to peace.  Yet God requires that we actively accept this invitation.  The promise of hope needs our action, and it relies on our willingness to follow.

Scrooge provides an example for us.  With the help of the Spirits of Christmas, he saw a world filled with very different possibilities.  He discovered that he need not be unhappy; he could change his life and embrace the joys which were all around him.  His willingness to see, judge, and act become an inspiration for us – reminding us that life gives us opportunities to change our ways and follow God’s call.

As Elizabeth recognized God’s presence in Mary, we too are invited to discover the Lord in our midst.  May our eyes be open to see God among us, and may we respond with hearts that are open to the abundant love which is our inheritance.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

One response to “4th Sunday of Advent

  • Paul LaLiberte St. Anthony Gordon WI

    Fr. Andrew, Thanks for making your homilies and thoughts available for others to hear and read, even though we are miles away. You have some practical insights that are refreshing and meaningful, yet bear witness to the scriptures and Jesus’ salvation offered to all of us. Your presentation on “Taking Out the Trash” was especially good. One of my tasks over a lifetime has been taking out the trash, so your story resonated with me. I have some doubts about the sacrament of Reconciliation, but no doubt about the need to take out the trash…so I need to be certain I exercise this gift more often. Thank you!

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