December 20, 2015 - 4th Sunday of Advent, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
Do you ever get caught up in feeling insignificant or worthless or useless? Sometimes we begin to feel like we have nothing of value to offer, like we have no purpose in life.
When we get that way it's difficult to see anything positive. We have a difficult time seeing any hope for improvement. We end up in depression or in a downward spiral.
However, our perception is usually a distorted one. We feel like we are unlovable, unattractive, unworthy, unable.
These feelings can be caused by many different things, maybe we are struggling with sickness or a messy divorce or same-sex attraction or aging parents or past abuse or job loss or some other traumatic experience.
These struggles can lead us to be withdrawn, tearful, feeling guilty, possibly even abusing alcohol or drugs. We suddenly find ourselves lacking energy and maybe even neglecting self-care.
It's important for us to understand that when we feel this way we are not alone. The scriptures today tell us that Bethlehem was too small to matter. Elizabeth was too old to bear children. And Mary was too insignificant for people to take notice.
We would understand if Mary and Elizabeth were feeling confused, frightened and isolated. We would even try to offer them some words of comfort or reassurance.
But the gospel tells us that they are both filled with joy. How can this be? we ask. They are full of joy and full of grace because both of these women are caught up in God’s plan.
And God's plan is to be close to his people, to be caught up in their lives like a gardener caring for a vine or like a mother caring for her child.
God desires to be close to us, to draw near to us, to be with us. We know this because God chooses to come to us as a tiny child, small and vulnerable.
In essence, God is saying to us that each and everyone of us is significant, that each and everyone of us matters.
So, instead of feeling worthless we should be open to God and what God is trying to do in our lives. We should be open to the Lord trying to teach us the value of human life and the greatness of each life.
When God sent his only son into the world, God chose people that were too little and too vulnerable, people who seemed insignificant. But they weren’t.
When God send his son into the world, his son was raised among us, his son came as one like us, God among us, shining light on our true dignity.
We may be feeling overwhelmed, worthless or unlovable, but our perception is distorted. No one is too little, no one is too small, no one is too insignificant to share in God’s plan.
Blessed are you who believe that what is spoken to you by the Lord will be fulfilled.