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Sunday, 24 December 2017

Fourth Sunday of Advent 2017 - A Reflection


4rd Sunday of Advent 2017

Today is the Fourth Sunday of Advent, the vestments are back to being violet or purple in color. Today's readings at mass are:

First Reading 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Responsorial Psalm 89 1-4, 26, 28, Response 1a
Second Reading Romans 16:25-27
Gospel Luke 1:26-38

The fourth Sunday of advent. Most years there is a break between this day in the church calendar and Christmas. But because of how the dates have lined up in the church calendar Christmas is tomorrow. We go from preparing for Christ's birth to him being here. For some it may be joyous that Christmas is here tomorrow. It is Christmas Eve. Preparations are done, or close and the time for family and friends to gather is here. For some of us we will miss those days between. But the time is here.

A few thoughts from the various reading today. First like David in the first reading do I care as much about the house of the Lord as I do my own? Do I listen to the people God sends to speak into my life, as he did Nathan to king David?

Or consider the response today for the responsorial psalm. 'Forever I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord.' It is often hard to sing and give praise when life is hard. When suffering illness, or watching a child suffer with illness. When out of work and finances are tight. When life is just hard. In those down times do I still trust in God and rely on His will being done in my life. Do I trust His love is steadfast in the midst of my trials and difficulties?

And finally, I want us to ponder upon one line from the Gospel reading today, 'Hail, full of grace! The lord is with you.'! These words are the beginning of the Hail Mary, probably the prayer I pray the most. Even if you take out the times I say it as part of meditating on the rosary, I pray a Hail Mary for my wife, my kids and myself first thing in the morning each day. I pray them at night before bed. Often when I am in the car with the kids we will turn off the radio and start saying prayers. We pray Hail Mary's for our nuclear family and then start out through the family tree. 

As some of you know I did not have a great relationship with my mother, and she has been gone many years now. But I have always felt my heavenly mothers care and protection. So turn to her in your time of need, even if your faith is not steadfast, ask her to help you to want to believe. 

Will it be like that when he returns I wonder? Will some not be prepared because they expect his coming to still be far off. Will others be surprised because they did not expect him to come at all. And will others like the wise maidens in the parable of the bridegroom and the maidens be prepared with oil for their lamps, and the lights trimmed? And which category will I be in? For that is the important question. Have I prepared my heart, my spirit for Christ's coming? Both this holiday season and for the ends of my days? Have I lived to be a light in the world? Those are some of the questions that come to mind after reading todays readings and reflecting on them for a few days now. 

And may you and yours have an incredible Christmas. 
  




(Note: The above picture was drawn by my son in school this year, he is almost 10.)

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