Fourth Sunday of Advent

Reading 1 – 2 SM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16
Responsorial Psalm – PS 89:2-3, 4-5, 27-29
Reading 2 ROM 16:25-27
Gospel LK 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”
(Luke 1:26-28).

In this last Sunday of Advent, God sends two messengers, the prophet Nathan and the angel Gabriel, to deliver his commands to David and Mary.

Through Nathan, God tells David not to build a house for God. Instead, God promises to build a temple for David (cf. 2 SM 7:11); a temple to serve all generations:

“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations”
(PS 89:4-5).

God’s promise to David is fulfilled when Gabriel announces to Mary

 “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”
(LK 1:31-33).

In today’s readings, God used his messengers to announce the good news of Advent: the prophecy and fulfillment of God’s kingdom revealed in Jesus Christ. When Mary said “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (LK 1:38), God gave us the perfect model for obedience of faith.

Advent is the season of preparation, penance and joy; a time to surrender to God as Mary did.


– God, I give my heart to you this day; may you will it to please you.

Beatitude #2 – Blessed are those who mourn

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

If we suffer because of our faith, God will comfort us when we unite with him. This news should bring joy to our hearts. The grace of suffering is a gift from God. This is hard for us to understand but it is a truth that Saints have understood well; it has guided their actions despite the suffering brought about by those actions. It is the cross Christ carried for us.

Today, we will have opportunities to suffer. We will have the opportunity to soothe despite our own sorrows; to forgive despite our hurt; to give alms despite scarcity; to give of our time despite all our desire for solitude; to be compassionate despite our impatience; to love despite our disappointments. These are all occasions for suffering; opportunities to be saint-like; not for the rewards offered by this world, but for the comfort we will receive from God.

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