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Sunday Soundbite for December 18, 2022

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Cycle A
December 18, 2022

A former Franciscan missionary in the Philippines once told me that when he traveled from mission to mission the people would not allow him to travel alone. They would ask, “Who is your companion?” Filipino culture, my friend said, is very relational—it values people being together, doing things together—even something as simple as traveling from place to place.

American culture on the other hand values independence and rugged individualism. But there are dangers when we take such an attitude to extreme. Like the Filipino culture, today’s Scripture readings offer us a healthy alternative.             

In both the First Reading and the Gospel, we hear the word Emmanuel–God with us. Isaiah the prophet warns King Ahaz not to turn his back on God’s intervention on behalf of the people; God wants to “be with us.” That divine intervention becomes personal in Jesus Christ, as the very human story of Joseph and Mary in Matthew’s Gospel makes clear. That presence of God with us is at the very heart of the Christmas celebration. At Christmastime we naturally turn to one another at work, at home, and even on the street to wish greetings of peace and happiness. But there are also those who feel alone or abandoned. The central message of this season is Emmanuel–“God with us.” Let’s be generous in sharing God’s gift of relationship with others.

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1 thought on “Sunday Soundbite for December 18, 2022”

  1. Unless a person is well put together, I would venture to say that being alone is not a healthy thing. I think it is also better to be alone than to be amongst bad companions. But sometimes one is stuck with bad companions due to certain obligations. But then when one is alone, one may wonder whether one is even happy. It all goes back to one’s relationship with God once again. The better the relationship one has with God, the less likely one will mind being alone. So, then why not be with good companions? Well, maybe they have died and you’re back alone once again? Can’t one make new friends? Well, those things take time or shall I say patience. But the most important thing of all, as my dad once taught me, is to be one’s own best friend, respect oneself. Also, good friends always make sure to give their respective friends their necessary space. No one likes to be imposed upon. That doesn’t mean you can’t care about each other or be solicitous to them likewise. It’s called having tact. Some people are better at it than others.

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