Fourth Sunday of Advent Year B
‘I am the handmaid of the Lord’
Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may by his Passion and Cross
be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.
As we look forward to Christmas, quickly approaching, today’s readings speak of God’s plans: for the House of David ... for Mary … and for us.
In the First Reading, David resolves to build a house for God, but God, who has journeyed with his people through all their ups and downs, has different plans. Speaking through the prophet Nathan, God promises to build a house for the people of Israel, establishing David as head of the dynasty and providing security to his people for generations to come. Jesus himself will eventually spring from this House of David, which will continue to the end of time.
We hear Jesus’s name spoken at the beginning of the Gospel, where Luke describes how the angel comes to Mary with good news. Gabriel tells of God’s plan: through Mary, a virgin, the son of God will be born; a successor to the House of David, whose reign will never end. Mary shows her faith and trust in God by responding with an unconditional yes.
The Psalmist begins by expressing his joy in God’s everlasting love and support, then speaks of God’s faithful and enduring love. He echoes the promise God makes to David (First Reading).
St Paul gives praise to God, whose plan, hidden for so long, has now been revealed in Jesus. Through Jesus’s birth, death and resurrection, we are offered salvation. Paul urges us to share this news with as many as possible. (Second Reading)
Perhaps I can pray this week, especially in these unusual times, to be always aware of God’s faithful presence and love. I ask for the graces of humility, trust, and openness to God that we see Mary herself express.