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Luke the Evangelist was afraid that his readers would read his writing just any old way. What he wanted to announce wasn't just one more piece of news, like so many others that ran through the Empire. They ought to prepare their heart: awaken joy, banish fears, and believe that God is near, ready to transform our life.

With artfulness that is hard to match, he recreated a scene calling forth the message that Mary heard in the most intimate part of her heart to welcome the birth of her son Jesus. We can all unite ourselves to her to welcome the Savior. How to prepare ourselves to receive joyfully a God incarnate in the tender humanity of Jesus?

«Rejoice». This is the first word one hears who is prepared to live a good experience. Today we don't know how to hope. We're like impatient children who want it all right now. We don't know how to be attentive in order to know our deepest desires. We have simply forgotten how to wait for God, y we no longer know how to find joy.

We're losing the best part of life. We're content with satisfaction, pleasure and diversion that doles out well-being. We know it's wrong, but we don't dare to believe that God, the One we welcome with simple faith, can discover for us new paths toward joy.

«Don't be afraid». Joy is impossible when we live full of fears that threaten us from within and without. How to think, feel, and act in positive and hopeful ways? How to forget our powerlessness and cowardice in order to confront evil?

We have forgotten that taking care of our inner life is more important than everything that comes at us from outside. If we live empty inside, we're vulnerable to everything. Our trust in God gets diluted and we don't know how to defend ourselves from what causes us harm.

«The Lord is with you». God is a creative energy that is good and wants good for us. We don't live alone, lost in the universe. Humanity isn't abandoned. From where do we draw out a true hope if not from the ultimate Mystery of life? Everything changes when a human being feels accompanied by God.


José Antonio Pagola

 Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf

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