Reflection for the 4th Sunday of Advent

    As Christmas nears, today’s readings assist us as we listen and reflect on the coming of the Lord. You may have noticed that today’s Scripture passages cite three stages in the coming of the Messiah. In the first reading a Messiah is promised to come through the line of David;  in the Gospel, the Son of God is conceived in the womb of Mary; and he reading from Saint Paul, god’ s saving power goes out to the world.
          King David wanted to build a beautiful house – a Temple –  but God had dwelt with and among the people throughout their journey and in the establishment of their  nation. Instead of a house of brick and wood, God would establish a dynasty for David as an expression of God’s love for Israel. Through this dynasty God promised to send an heir who would preserve the house and kingdom of David forever. This promise was fulfilled when Emmanuel – sGod  is with us –  entered the world through Mary. Mary was able to say, ” May it be done to me according to your word,” because she had absolute trust and confidence in the promises of God. After the Ascension of Jesus, Paul announced that the promises of God for an eternal kingdom were fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
      We, too, should be steeped in God’s word , just as Mary was. In Scripture, we read of God’s promise to us of life eternal to all who believe in him –  a promise that is the bedrock of our faith and the foundation of our lives. God’s promise should shape our thinking and guide our decisions. The more familiar we are with these words, the more we will experience God’s healing, forgiveness, joy, and love.
        God did not choose to take up residence solely in a temple or in a church, but became flesh through Mary and lived among us as Jesus. In this way Jesus taught us that there is no place or human that need  be without God –  for God is everywhere. God is not confined to our churches, but can be found; in the poor and the suffering, and in those who seek to alleviate poverty and pain; in the weak, and in those who protect the weak; in those who are unjustly in prison, and in those who work for justice and fairness, and in those suffering from terminal illnesses, and in those who give comfort to the dying. As we sing our favorite carols during this season, let us celebrate the reality of Christmas, that is, God is with us, as we recognize God in all people and in every circumstance. Forever let us sing the goodness of the Lord.

May God bless you all
Fr. Dominic
Your brother in Christ