4th Sunday of Advent, Year B
QPosted on: Tue Dec 11, 2012
6Duration: 7:20 mins
Yet throughout all these centuries of tribulation, the promise of God in the first reading remained, namely that God Himself would make a house in which to dwell, and that the sovereignty of David's line and throne would be established forever. And this is the background against which the events of Christmas are highlighted, like a light set in the darkness, like a mystery at last revealed, in the light of which the whole history of the Old Testament is seen as a foreshadowing and a prefigurement. For what St Paul describes as the Good News is something genuinely and uniquely new in the world, namely that God has become man and dwelt among us. The temple that God has prepared is not the gold and stone of the Temple of Solomon, but the body and blood of Jesus Christ himself. The ark of the covenant is no longer a casket overlaid in gold, but the Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception, who held the living Word of God. And when God lies in a manger so that we can at last see him face to face, he is not come to us through the plans and works of a man, but through the loving obedience of a woman who gives us, in a few simple words, the entire key to holiness and to glory: "I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me."
Readings: Gospel: Luke 1:26-38: The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. ..'"
© Fr Andrew Pinsent. Academic Web Site.