Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 20, 2020
Stargazers have been looking forward to the evening of December 21, 2020, for quite some time. Astronomers have determined that we can expect a stunning celestial event on what happens to be the longest night of the year. Our solar system’s two largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn, will align so closely to one another that their light will blend. From planet Earth, these two separate heavenly bodies will appear as one very brilliant star. Scientists call this “THE GREAT CONJUNCTION.”
They apparently display a “lesser” conjunction, every 20 years, as their orbits lessen the distance between them. But what will happen this coming Monday evening is extremely rare and will not occur again until March 15, 2080. The last time stargazers enjoyed a GREAT CONJUNCTION of Jupiter and Saturn was March 4, 1226. So, those of us alive today, regardless of where we happen to be on planet Earth this Monday night, will be privileged to witness an exceptional event…provided that our view is not obstructed by clouds.
It’s interesting to note that some astronomers speculate that the “Christmas Star” that inspired the shepherds and guided the Maji was actually a ”TRIPLE CONJUNCTION” resulting from the alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus.
What is beyond speculation, but will never be repeated, is the GREATEST CONJUNCTION…THE INFINITE CONJUNCTION described in today’s Gospel. The Holy Spirit aligned so perfectly with a young and faith-filled woman, that she was impregnated by The Divine. Nine months later, the brilliant Light of this INFINITE CONJUNCTION broke into our earthly reality when Mary gave birth to The Son of God…The Christ Child. And so, once and for all, The Light of Christ dispelled the darkness of sin that obstructed creation’s view of The Creator.
While this perfect alignment of The Divine and human happened in time, occurring only once in history, there is a timelessness about it. The Light of Christ is infinite. Regardless of when someone might be alive here, on planet earth, or where they might be, the Light of Christ illuminates and the way of all wise enough to follow. St. Paul expresses it this way in our Second Reading:
…made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith
In fact, it was the perfect “obedience of faith” of The Blessed Mother that made THE INFINITE CONJUNCTION possible. Her unconditional and unwavering trust in God’s love enabled her to utter the word that brought The Divine and the human into perfect alignment. Mary said YES! to the invitation brought by the angel Gabriel. And with that simple word…YES!…The Word became flesh to dwell among us.
There will never be another INFINITE CONJUNCTION. There is no need. God accomplished the Divine purpose…the salvation of the world…through Mary’s YES! But, it is critical to know that every time we echo that simple word of faith-filled acceptance of God’s will and God’s ways, there is a “lesser conjunction.” When we follow the path illuminated by The Christ Light…our orbit lessens the distance between us and God.
When we do our best to live the Gospel, we align ourselves with Christ, and our flicker of earthly light blends with THE ETERNAL LIGHT, and two separate bodies, our flesh and blood and The Holy Spirit, appear as one.
During this final week of Advent, let’s commit to “making the season bright” with The Light of Christ.
Dear Friends of the Sunday Journal,
Our Sister Laurene is in the process of dying. She is 92 and ready to be welcomed into the arms of her beloved Creator. She knows God is waiting and wanting her. We ask you to pray with us as she aligns her transition to God with the Eternal Light of Christ.
Your Sisters of St. Clare