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Blessed Virgin Mary

Weekly Reflection

Fourth Sunday of Advent ‘B’

December 24, 2023

2 Sam 7:1-5, 8-12, 14-16
Ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 27-29
Rom 16:25-27
Lk 1:26-38

Today’s Gospel tells us that John the Baptist came as a witness who would testify to the Light, Jesus, and that the coming of Jesus the Light into the world is the cause for our rejoicing because He removes the darkness of sin from the world. We have an additional reason to rejoice because, like John the Baptist, we, too, are chosen to bear witness to Christ Jesus, the Light of the world. It is our duty to fill our lives with Christ’s Light so that we may radiate it and shed light in the dark lives of others around us through sharing love, overflowing mercy, unconditional forgiveness and humble service.

The First Reading surprises us by telling of God’s promise to David that he would have a long line of royal descendants culminating with a final king, Jesus Christ.

In the Responsorial Psalm, the Psalmist recalls all of God’s promises and surprises us by describing God’s promise to David and his descendants in terms of a Covenant.

Today’s Gospel tells us that this King would be born to an ordinary virgin, not by means of sexual relationship, but through the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus would become a descendant of David. This would occur through Joseph, Mary’s betrothed husband and the legal father of her son, as Joseph was "of the house of David." The Gospel narrative surprises us also by reminding us that God’s promise is best fulfilled not in buildings, or even great kings like Solomon, but rather in humble souls like Mary who trusted in God’s promise.

The Second Reading also surprises us with Paul’s explanation of the unveiling of God's plan for human salvation through Jesus. Thus, the unfolding of God's plan of salvation though history has contained many surprises.

We need to say a courageous and generous “yes” to God: True obedience comes from a free choice made in the light of what is true and good. It often requires a great deal of courage because it can involve going against the tide of social expectations. True obedience also aims at putting oneself at the service of something/someone that is greater than oneself by accepting what God clearly wants us to do or what He wants to do through us. It is by saying, with Jesus and Mary, a wholehearted and totally unconditional “yes” to Jesus that He will be re-born in me or maybe even born in me for the first time.

The Good News in today’s Scripture message is not only that God is making provision for the salvation of His people, but also that He has a plan for each individual person. In many cases, our work for God seems rather ordinary, but each ordinary task which we carry out fits into God's plan in ways that we cannot yet understand. God desires not the skill of our hands but the love of our hearts. The Baby in the Manger reminds us of what God has done and is still doing 2 for us. What are we doing in return? Let us show our gratitude to God by living as true followers of Christ: “Behold, here I am Lord to do Your will.”