Tuesday, December 19, 2017

“Elizabeth's barrenness and advanced age--a double symbol of hopelessness--became the means by which God would announce to the world that nothing is impossible for Him.”

“When Henry Ford decided to produce his famous V-8 motor, he chose to build an engine with the entire eight cylinders cast in one block, and instructed his engineers to produce a design for the engine. The design was placed on paper, but the engineers agreed, to a man, that it was simply impossible to cast an eight-cylinder engine-block in one piece.

Ford replied, “Produce it anyway.” ― Henry Ford: (1863 – 1947: was an American captain of industry and a business magnate, the founder of the Ford Motor Company)

Scripture Text: (JGS 13:2-7, 24-25A)
There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites,
whose name was Manoah.
His wife was barren and had borne no children.
An angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her,
"Though you are barren and have had no children,
yet you will conceive and bear a son.
Now, then, be careful to take no wine or strong drink
and to eat nothing unclean.
As for the son you will conceive and bear,
no razor shall touch his head,
for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb.
It is he who will begin the deliverance of Israel
from the power of the Philistines."

The woman went and told her husband,
"A man of God came to me;
he had the appearance of an angel of God, terrible indeed.
I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name.
But he said to me,
'You will be with child and will bear a son.
So take neither wine nor strong drink, and eat nothing unclean.
For the boy shall be consecrated to God from the womb,
until the day of his death.'"

The woman bore a son and named him Samson.
The boy grew up and the LORD blessed him;
the Spirit of the LORD stirred him.

Advent is a time of prayer and hope. It is the perfect time for the Church to reflect upon the interplay between barrenness and fruitfulness. There is so many things that seem barren at first glance. In a short, profound book, The Desert is Fertile, Dom Helder Camera, Archbishop of Recife, Brazil, reflected how much life can come from those place in our life we consider barren. Scientists constantly remind us of how much life there is in places where there does not seem to have any life. And if we look deeply within ourselves, we discover that the areas we have named barren have been fruitful after all.

Advent is an invitation to us to look deeper into our own barrenness. The more we pray for the arrival of the God of Life, the more alive we will become. We will realize that Jesus can be born in a stable, that shepherd can hear the choirs of angels singing in the fields, and people from far away countries have gifts to give.

God is always full of surprises!

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