Thursday of the Third Week of Advent
Samson, whose birth was announced in the 1st reading, is one more link in the chain to Christ. His was an extraordinary birth, as was Jesus’; he was consecrated in his mother’s womb, as was Jesus; he was led by the Spirit, as was Jesus. And in the Gospel we have another annunciation, reminiscent of Samson and Jesus. John is a closer link to Christ, a replica of Samson without his faults.
In addition to these similarities, Samson, John and Jesus were “sent” men – sent by the Father to perform a mission. But doesn’t that define each one of us too? Mission is vocation, called out to perform a task. So one of the themes we might cull from these long readings today is: What about my vocation, my mission in life?
Samson, a longhair teetotaler, kept the externals of his vocation – symbols to assure him he was on line, but the subtle, denied desire for power and lust did him in. How about me? How honest am I in doing what God calls me to do now. Or as St. Ignatius put it: Look at Christ on the cross and ask yourself, “What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ here and now? What ought I do for Christ to fulfill the mission, the vocation the Father gives me – now.”