Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Dec. 20, 2020

Reflection for Dec. 20, 2020

The angels among us

'Nothing is impossible with God' is a message to hear and share

by Sister Laura Zelten

When my niece was young, she and her family attended the early Christmas Eve liturgy for children. The priest invited all the children to gather around the presider’s chair to watch the Christmas pageant procession enter church. As the angel entered my niece leaned over the priest and said, “That is what I want to be when I grow up.”

On this fourth Sunday of Advent we read the story of the Annunciation from Luke’s Gospel. (Luke is the only evangelist who includes the Annunciation story in his Gospel.) The Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and announced that Mary was to “conceive in her womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.”

The Gospel is the conversation between the Gabriel and Mary. Gabriel announced God’s intention. Mary responded with the very practical question: “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” Gabriel replied: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Gabriel then offered a sign confirming that this was God’s work by telling Mary that her elderly relative, Elizabeth, who was thought to be barren, was six months’ pregnant: “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Mary assented to God’s will with words of complete trust and faith: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

The Angel Gabriel brought the good news of Jesus and the reassurance that nothing is impossible with God. During this time in our lives who have been the angels? Who are the people who bring God’s good news that Jesus is with us? How are we reassured that “nothing is impossible with God”? How have we been angels to others, reassuring them that during this time of pandemic they do not walk alone? Can we say with a trusting heart, “May it be done to me according to your word.”

During this last week of Advent, let’s be angels to those around us.


Father Bill Jacobs
12/18/2020 6:18 am

Thanks so very much, Sister!

I loved your story about the little one wanting to be an Angel when she grew up!

I also like the question of " Who have we been Angels to?" Might we ponder Who are the Angels in our lives?" Or, I'd add, who have been the Angels in our lives and will be looking down on us this Christmas Night.

Thanks Sister. Merry Christ to you & all the Good Sisters. May 2021 be the start of a "new & improved normal."

An appreciative, Father Bill Jacobs

12/18/2020 6:49 am

Thank you Sr Laura,

It will truly make Christmas special if we notice the Angels that are always with us.

Merry Christmas!!

12/18/2020 7:42 am

Some take-aways for me from this gospel:

Woman's body is both gift and gift-wrap for the gift of new life.

Woman's body is 'cradle of salvation.'

Woman's body is a tabernacle.

Woman's body is vessel of the Holy Spirit.

Woman is Christ-bearer.

As Mary 'pondered' on these 'wonders,' so, too, may we, most especially this year, 2020.

Wondering and pondering with Mary this year, in that 'troubling' kind of way as described by Luke, the physician (Lk: 1:29), I have come to see and acclaim that WOMAN is CHRIST-BEARER. There is no other way to interpret this gospel. The Healing Hand of G O D is upon Mary, and she is called to bear Christ to a world of pain, suffering, and deep hurt.

So, too, have women been called to be CHRIST-BEARERS ever since. Surely, this 'troubling,' yet ever-so beautiful Mystery of Grace, is worthy of our declaration as being 'good' -- joyful, even -- but deeply challenging 'news.'

That we can say, with Mary, "Let it be so .... according to Your Word" (Lk. 1: 38), is our great strength and comfort.

12/18/2020 10:47 am

You are a beautiful Angel, Sr. Laura, thank you.

Sister Rose Jochmann
12/18/2020 10:56 am

Wonderful reflection for this last week of Advent. I really liked the story about your niece and the carry over into the questions asking us who are our angels and how can we be angels. Mary's annunciation is truly one of trust and faith!

Thank you.

Irene Whatley
12/18/2020 11:59 am

I feel that my parents were and are the angels in my life. I can feel their goodness and love of God.

Bobbie Reinhart
12/20/2020 6:07 pm

My 2nd cousin just sent a sad message last night that she will be going into hospice due to cancer. The best thing I could think of to comfort her was, “May your loving angel hold you in her arms”.

12/20/2020 8:40 pm

You and Fr Dave were on the same vibes.. be a "Gabriel" and/or

Be an "angel" .. now let's try and live it out AMEN

Add Your Comment

This is not displayed anywhere publicly.

Weekly Reflections Email

Be notified every time a Weekly Reflection is added!

Sign Up Now

Newsletter Signup

Want to receive our Newsletter?

Sign Up Now