The Fourth Sunday of Advent tells us that we are approaching the celebration of Christmas. We have prepared ourselves during Advent for Christ’s coming to the world. The readings today are in anticipation of His coming and speak of God’s promise of salvation – reiterating the theme of obedience to his Word.
The prophet Micah prophesied the coming of the Messiah, who is Jesus Christ, the new King who will bring peace and security to His people not only in Israel, but “to the ends of the land”. He also foretells the means of Christ’s coming – “when she who is to give birth gives birth”, referring to Mother Mary’s important role in God’s divine plan and promise.
The responsorial psalm speaks of humanity’s desire and cry for God’s help for salvation. As God’s divine promise entails, Christ will come to save and protect humanity from the evils of the world. The second reading reveals Christ’s purpose for coming into this world – to obey God’s will. Like the early Jewish converts to Christianity (whom this Letter is addressed to), we falter and enter into sin. God is reminding us of his faithful promise to us through his Word and to strengthen our faith in the face of obstacles in our lives. God wishes for us most to obey and surrender ourselves to him, to his will, just like how Jesus did. Christ chose to obey His Father’s will by offering himself as a sacrifice and saving us from our sins. The readings end with Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth, an event that anticipates the birth and coming of Jesus. Like the first reading, Luke’s Gospel speaks of Mother Mary’s important role in God’s salvific plan brought to the world through the coming of Jesus Christ. God’s promise to us is therefore fulfilled through Mother Mary, as the mother of Jesus, whom Elizabeth refers to as “the mother of my Lord”.
The scripture texts today reveal time and time again, God’s promise to us through the fulfilling of his Word and Christ’s coming as demonstrated by Mother Mary’s role. The texts also highlight the importance of humanity’s obedience to God’s Will. Likewise, as we draw parallels to our daily lives, do we hesitate in surrendering to God’s will? Are we ready to receive Christ (again) into our lives? As we prepare for Christmas, let us keep these thoughts in mind as we reflect.
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