Fourth Sunday of Advent

By: New Word Writing

Palabra de Hoy
Palabra de Hoy

December 20, 2020

You are my Father, my God, my saving Rock.

“Be not afraid, Mary, for you have found grace before God. You will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and name him Jesus. He will be great, he will be called son of the Most High, the Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father; will reign over Jacob’s house forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”



First Reading

Reading Samuel’s second book 7.1-5.8b-12.14a.16

When King David settled in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, he said to the prophet Nathan, “Look, I live in a cedar house, while the Ark of God dwells in a tent.”
Nathan said to the king, “Go and do what your heart desires, for the Lord is with you.”
That night came this word of the Lord to Nathan:
“Go and speak to my servant David, ‘Thus saith the Lord, Are you going to build me a house for my abode?
I took you from the pasture, from walking after the flock, to be head of my people Israel. I’ve been by your side wherever you’ve gone, suppressed all your enemies before you, and made you as famous as the greats of the earth. I will set up a place for my people Israel and plant it to reside in it without being uneasy, nor will the wicked, as before, do him any more harm when he appointed judges over my people Israel. I have given you rest from all your enemies. Well, the Lord announces to you that he will build you a house.
Indeed, when your days are fulfilled and you rest with your parents, I will arouse your offspring after you. Whoever comes out of your bowels will be affirmed his kingdom. I’ll be a father to him and he’ll be a son to me.
Your house and kingdom will always stand firm before me, your throne will last forever.'”


Exit 88, 2-3. 4-5. 27 and 29

I will sing your mercies eternally, Lord.

I will sing eternally the mercies of the Lord,
I will announce your loyalty for all ages.
Because you said, “Your mercy is an eternal building,”
more than heaven you have strengthened your faithfulness. R/.

“I sealed an alliance with my chosen one,
swearing to David, my servant:
I will found you a perpetual lineage,
I will build your throne for all ages.” R/.

“He will call me: ‘You are my father,
my God, my saving rock.’
I will keep my favor forever,
and my alliance with him will be stable.” R/.


Second Reading

Reading St Paul’s Letter to the Romans 16, 25-27

To him who can consolidate them according to my gospel and the message of Jesus Christ that I proclaim, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for eternal centuries and manifested now through the prophetic scriptures, made known according to the disposition of the eternal God so that all people might come to the obedience of the faith; to God, the only Wise, for Jesus Christ, glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Reading the Holy Gospel according to Luke 1, 26-38

At that time, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin married to a man named Joseph, from the house of David; the virgin’s name was Mary.
The angel, entering his presence, said:
“Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.”
She was greatly troubled by these words and wondered what greeting that was.
The angel said to him:
“Be not afraid, Mary, for you have found grace before God. You will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and name him Jesus. He will be great, he will be called son of the Most High, the Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father; will reign over Jacob’s house forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”
And Mary said unto the angel:
“How will that be, for I know no man?”
The angel replied:
“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the strength of the Most High shall cover thee with his shadow; that is why the Holy One who will be born will be called the Son of God. Also your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son in her old age, and it is already six months that they called sterile, because nothing is impossible for God.”
Mary answered:
“Behold the slave of the Lord; be made of me according to your word.”
And the angel withdrew.



We arrived today on the last Sunday of Advent. We have lit the fourth candle of its crown, become a symbol full of life, light and heat. The green color of its branches are the presence of nature full of vitality and hope. Lit candles illuminate more than ever and project their heat around; they remind us that as we approach Christ who is born, our hearts are enlightened by his truth and flooded with his love, so that we may also be light to others and signs of God’s love in the world. Certainly the candles are consumed little by little, when they fulfill this beautiful function, until their end. We too will experience that living in truth, being light for others, loving as God has loved us, entails wear and tear, effort, sacrifice, renunciation. Being light and love for others demands cross. How beautiful it would be if we each told ourselves: in the advent of life I want to be the crown of Advent, which announces the closeness of God’s truth and love to all, even if I do so I am left with life itself.

Today’s Word reminds us of God’s mesic promise to his people and how God Himself exceeds the expectations of those who, like David, wanted to be faithful to Him. David intends to build a house for the Ark of the Covenant, a temple as a worthy place for his presence. And, on a par, God appears overflowing with generosity, promising to build himself the House of David, the mesianic dynasty from which the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Savior of Israel, will be born. The Lord reminds David, through the prophet Nathan, of what he called him and has been accompanying him at all times in his life, how he has never left him alone, how he has defended him, and held his hand in difficult and difficult times.

Perhaps the Lord also tells each of us the same thing. As soon as we offer or do for Him, He makes us feel his loving presence overflowing with our expectations; He never lets himself be won in generosity. He takes us by the hand, frees us from our anxieties, surprises us by surpassing what we ask of him in faith. May we never forget that He is always with us in the heat of our battles.

The promise to send the Messiah into David’s dynasty is part of God’s Covenant with his people Israel. God never forgets who his children are. And this is what invites us to sing today’s psalm. God is merciful to us, even though we do not deserve it. He never forgets that we are his children and treat us as such, even though we do forget that He is our Father and set Him aside.

St Paul, in the second reading, invites us to give glory to God through Jesus Christ, from the awareness of his greatness and his wisdom, projected from ancient times and manifested with the incarnation of the Word, full revelation of the mystery of God. To give glory to God is not to add something new to Him, for He needs nothing from us. To give glory to God is to recognize the splendor of the truth manifested in Him; is to thank the manifestation of his unsinkable mystery, kept from ancient times, and communicated to humanity in the Word made flesh.

And the Word became flesh in the bowels of a Virgin named Mary. Advent cannot conclude in any way other than the hand of Mary, Mother of God and our mother. In it and thanks to her God fulfills the mesianic promise; because Mary said yes to God, her Son became flesh, Jesus Christ came into the world as the Messiah sent by the Father for our salvation. We cannot forget that the great mystery of the Birth of the Son of God, which we will celebrate in a few days, went through poor and humble human mediations, particularly mary’s free and generous decision. How great Is God, but how small he becomes, the Almighty who submits to the humility of his slave. Understanding this leads us to better understand our Christian faith, to accept that God’s designs are infinitely superior to our pretensions, imaginations, projections, desires, even hopes. It rubs against the incomprehensible, even unacceptable to human logic, that God wanted to hang himself, subdue, to a human self as concrete and seemingly insignificant as Mary’s. But precisely because he is Almighty he has been able and wanted to stop being so. Here is the mystery that dazzles and overflows us.

Our commitment to God, our relationship with Him, is to do as Mary did, to be docile to her Spirit so that she may fill us with her grace, to listen to her concrete desires about our lives, to interrogate him in our doubts and misunderstandings, to manifest to him our absolute readenance for Him to do in us his work, the project for which He created us, the mission for which He placed us in this world. Saying yes to God will lead us on unsuspected, even unwanted paths, but it will free us from the fear and risk of wrong, from the danger of wasting the life God has given us. Saying yes to God implies humility of heart, serenity, audacity, perseverance, struggle with oneself, capacity and willingness to listen, generous dedication. So was Mary’s yes, not a one-day response, but a decision that defined her whole life. Just as God expected his yes, and even made his project dependent on him for all mankind, he also expects our yes, that he will define our life and that of, God knows only, how many more people. Don’t be afraid, She’s always with us.



Very close, Emmanuel, today Israel presents you,

who in sad exile lives now and redemption from you implores.

Come now, from the glare sky, Wisdom of the Lord,

for with your light, which the world craves, new joy will come to us.

Arriving are you, God and Lord, from sinai legislator,

that the holy law you promulgated and your power there you showed.

Come, Holy Rod of Jesé, with you the people to what was

come back waits, for he still moans under the cruel yoke that oppresses him.

Come, Key of David, you finally opened the ruined man

who today can walk free his way, hoping for the big day.

Aurora you are that, at birth, it brings us new dawn,

and, in your light, live hope the heart of man reaches.

King of glory, your power to the enemy must overcome,

and, by helping our weakness, your greatness manifests itself. Amen.


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