4th Sunday of Advent: God of Surprises | One-Minute Homily

by | Dec 18, 2022 | One-Minute Homily, Videos

God’s plans can surprise us and even seem inconsistent at times. Brendan Gottschall, SJ, reflects on the joy that can come with God’s unexpected plans. Based on the readings for Sunday, December 18, 2022.

Our God is inconsistent. And that is a good thing!

Hi, I’m Brendan Gottschall, and this is my One-Minute reflection.

In the first reading for today, God tells King Ahaz to ask for a sign. Ahaz answers with what seems to be a God-fearing response: “No, I won’t tempt the Lord,” but God chastises him for not doing as God asks. Elsewhere in the Bible, God praises those who humbly refuse to demand signs. What gives?

In the Gospel, Joseph plans to divorce Mary quietly because she is pregnant outside of their marriage, a seemingly righteous plan. But God intervenes and asks Joseph to continue in the marriage, assuring him that it is a part of a bigger plan.

When God or people are inconsistent it can be very frustrating, but when we are in a loving, trusting relationship with someone, we can often be joyfully delighted by their unexpected response. God’s entering into our humanity which we celebrate next week is one such joyful inconsistency.


Brendan Gottschall, SJ

bgottschallsj@thejesuitpost.org   /   All posts by Brendan