In the First Reading, the prophet Malachi announces a messenger who will prepare the way for God’s coming. The Gospel tells of the birth of John the Baptist, the one whose call to repent and prepare a way for the Lord began our Advent season. Have you listened to John’s plea? Review your Advent journey tonight, and be attentive to the rough ways in your life that still need straightening. Praise God for the good works already accomplished. Today’s Readings: Malachi 3:1–4, 23–24; Psalm 25:4–5ab, 8–9, 10 and 14; Luke 1:57–66.
Fourth Sunday of Advent - December 24, 2017
Find Us Ready
Good and gracious God,
who sent the angel Gabriel to announce the gift of your Son,
your love for us has no limits and endures forever.
As we prepare for the coming of Christ,
eliminate within us all sin and fear,
giving us pure hearts to receive him.
May the Holy Spirit fill us with your grace,
just as Mary was so filled,
and find us ready to stand in your presence to serve you.
Keep us faithful to the covenant you made with our ancestors.
May your joy saturate our beings as we go forth proclaiming your salvation,
so that, on that final day, we will forever sing your goodness.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sunday, December 24, 2017
Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1–5, 8b–12, 14a, 16; Psalm 89:2–3, 4–5, 27, 29; Romans 16:25–27; Luke 1:26–38. The readings proclaimed at the liturgy today invite us to ponder the mystery revealed in the birth of Christ. David wishes to build a proper house for the ark of God. The prophet Nathan reveals that God has a much bigger plan: to establish a house for him. God will build up the nation to prosper until the end of time. Because of the Incarnation, we are heirs to this promise and are members of God’s household. As the psalm states, God has made a covenant with his people and we continue the song of praise and thanksgiving.
This promise cannot be fulfilled without Mary’s yes. Since the time of the fall, all creation has waited for Mary. God chose her to bear his Son, the Messiah who establishes the Reign of God. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to give up everything (die to self) for another, especially for God’s will? Here is a young woman whose whole life changes when she humbly says, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
Tomorrow, the Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus. The season of Christmas, challenges us to grow deeper in faith. Jesus reveals the Father’s love and mercy. At every liturgy, the Church celebrates this mystery and receives the presence of God’s own Son. We are to become what we receive—the Body of Christ. Take time today to reflect on your yes and see in what ways God has revealed himself to you.