This time of the year always brings me to a deeper awareness and recognition of the truth that what matters most in our lives is what God does. I look at the players in the history of our salvation: our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, John the Baptist, Zacharia, Elizabeth, the prophets of old, etc. and all I see is what God does through them. Everything starts with the initiative of God, the movement of love from God that turns their hearts and minds onto God in freedom so he could use them to achieve his purpose for his children in this world. No wonder these great men and women of God were so humble, so unassuming and so receptive to divine touch. For this reason, our Blessed Mother sings of God’s majesty and wonderous works in and through her. In her own turn, Elizabeth praises Our Lady for being so receptive to God’s Word spoken to her. The prophet Micah underlines the smallness of Bethlehem in comparison to the rest of Israel. Yet, it is from this little Bethlehem that the Savior of the world would come. In all this, the work of God stands out, and all that we can do is pay attention and follow the direction of God. They are great men and women of God with whom God changed history. Yet, all they did was to deflect attention from themselves to God for all they cared for was what God was doing with and through them.

Whenever I get down on my knees and tell myself the truth in God’s presence, I realize that I have really nothing to vaunt for. It is all God’s work. I think of all that I have been able to do in my life; the challenges that have led me to where I am; the friends God placed in my life to guide, support and direct me; and the apparently “bad” experiences that have taught me the meaning of faith in God and in life! It is an awareness that almost all the time brings tears to my eyes, because it is hard to understand why. A friend of mine, very successful but very humble, once voiced out in a split moment of amazement at the wonder of God in his life: “Why did God choose me?” He kept quiet for about a minute and then gave an answer that is simply an acknowledgement of the mystery: “One day we shall figure it out!” This is a man who worked very hard to achieve all that he has, and all he cares about is working and serving God by serving others and the mission of God. Even though he has worked so hard and achieved so much for his hard work and determination, he knows and feels that he has been chosen, and he does not know why! This incredibly divine perspective on life changes everything and takes us down to our knees in surrender and humble adoration to God, from whom all things come. That is why St. Mother Teresa’s words are eternally true: “It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you”!

On this fourth Sunday of Advent, take some time to meditate on the life of Our Blessed Mother and use her as a model to reflect on your own life. If you are honest, you will surely arrive at her humble surrender: “I am your humble handmaid, Lord, do with me what you will” (Luke 1:38).