Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 18, 2022
Isaiah 7:10-14 Romans 1:1-7 Matthew 1:18-24
If you follow these scripture reflections, you might know that I am a big fan of Christian music. I like many of the songs we sing from the hymnal and the songbook we use at Mass; and I also like many of the contemporary Christian songs you can find on the radio. Occasionally, I will recommend a song as part of the reflection I write. In the past, for Advent, I have recommended “My Soul in Stillness Waits” from our Gather Hymnal. This year, I want to point you in the direction of two other songs I have found to be very good “prompts” that can lead us into quiet Advent prayer time with our Lord. These songs are particularly relevant today because they deal directly with the birth of Jesus, as described in our readings.
The first is a song you may have heard here at the parish called “Mary Did You Know”, by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene - sung by various artists. Using the form of a prayer meditation, the composer poses a number of questions to The Blessed Virgin regarding what she may or may not have known ahead of time regarding the implications of giving birth to Jesus. The second is a moving contemporary hymn titled: “Be Born in Me” by Nicole Nordeman and Bernie Herms, and sung by Francesca Battistelli. This song focuses on what it could mean to give birth - both literally and figuratively - to Jesus. Each of these songs can be found easily on the web, on YouTube Music. You can listen to them for free, and can also learn how to purchase them. If you have any trouble at all finding them, simply ask your favorite young person to help you.
The songs I have mentioned here have often helped me “go deeper” in my prayer time with the Lord - through the Blessed Virgin Mary. And there are many other wonderful spiritual hymns of the season that can work just as well for you. If music helps you pray, this Advent dedicate some quiet time to listen to your favorite Christmas hymns; and let the Spirit of the Living God whisk you deep into prayer. You’ll be glad you did. I guarantee it!
by: Bill Miller