The Peace of the Lord be with you.
Both the Old Testament and Gospel readings talk about how God makes the barren fertile and those disappointed filled with hope. It also appears that both of these children: Samson and John the Baptist were conceived for holy purposes. Both, in their own way, would be instruments of deliverance and redemption. Out of hopelessness through the goodness of God came renewal.
As we approach the darkest time of the year in our region in a few short days, we end our time of preparation and celebrate the return of the light through the birth of Jesus — the act that reminds us that God always walks with and among us. May we be filled anticipation, gratitude, and hope.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.