By Alex Mikulich

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 | Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29 | Luke 1:67-79

“By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78-79)


There is probably no other day in the year so full of expectation for Christians. As we read and listen to the Canticle of Zechariah in Luke, we may feel that we are going to burst with anticipation today. Before the day becomes filled up with last minute errands for Christmas, we might pause and reflect on the dialogue between David, Nathan, and God in the first reading this morning. Too often, this reading has historically been taken as a call to prove ourselves before God and “build a house for God.” But God directs David, through Nathan, to completely change our perspective. There is no need to prove ourselves before God. We have nothing to prove. More importantly, God will build a house for us. It is time to let go and let God. Then we might yet live “the tender compassion of our God” who guides “our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78-79).

REFLECTION: How do we welcome the birth of Christ’s love within ourselves and between each other? How do we welcome nonviolent love within ourselves and in the world?

This reflection is from Unshakeable Belief: Reflections for Advent 2013. Alex Mikulich is Research Fellow at the Jesuit Social Research Institute, Loyola University, New Orleans, and a member of the Pax Christi USA Anti-Racism Team.

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