Fourth Sunday in Advent
READINGS FOR THE COMING WEEK
- First reading
- 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
- Luke 1:46b-55 or Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26
- Second reading
- Romans 16:25-27
- Luke 1:26-38
Gospel reading from Luke
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “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 holy; he will be called Son of God.
And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
A dominant theme of this week’s gospel reading is the entry of God into the world as a character, Pastor Stevensen tells us, God as an intermediary in the birth of the Son. An angel appears saying “Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you.” Mary was much perplexed. The angel comforts her, saying “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God, and then announces “You will receive in your womb and bear a son.” Our situation is much like Mary’s. His gifts to us too have been “out of the blue.” Mary did not have to do anything. The receiving of a son was not conditional. She was chosen. We can draw a parallel. We are chosen. That’s it, an announcement. We only have to accept, but do we accept enough? It is an unconditional offer. God alone is capable of opening our minds. His miracle breaks through and It is new everyday, By faith alone, we receive God’s gift of His Son. God alone is capable of opening our minds. His miracle breaks through. It is new everyday, By faith alone, we receive God’s gift of His Son.
# # #