23 Dec Fourth Sunday of Advent
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Dear OLPH Family and Friends,
This year our Advent season couldn’t possibly be shorter. The Fourth Week of Advent is exactly 25 hours; i.e. the Saturday evening Vigil for Sunday until the first Mass of Christmas at 6 pm on Sunday night. If you haven’t had the time to take a breath, do so today and contemplate the great gift God gives us in His Son. Basically this is what our readings for today are all about.
In 2 Samuel we hear the story of King David wanting to do something for God. He wants to build a proper house for God, a temple. Even the Prophet Nathan thought it was a good idea. God had other plans and said “no.” Perhaps God was protecting David from an ego trip in which all the people would be praising the king’s great work instead of praising God. God had always been doing great things for David and now He wanted to do something even greater. In Nathan’s speech to David he enumerated all the great things that God had accomplished through David. God had done great things for David. The point is not what David would do for God, but what God would do for David and his people. God showed that David could never repay God and that God intended do even more for him. God would not simply make David famous, but would give him an heir whose kingdom would last forever.
David wished to formalize worship with a temple. God replied that it was not a house, but a kingdom, a people united, that would show forth God’s glory. David’s son Solomon would build a temple – but it was destroyed, rebuilt and destroyed again. God was building a way to dwell among His People. He wanted to bring them into what Jesus would describe as The Kingdom of God.
The God who did not want David to build the temple chose a strange way to build His own home. He passed by the Temple and the holy city when looking for a home. He chose Israel not for Israel’s greatness but because He loved little Israel. He chose Mary not because of her greatness but because He loved her littleness. Mary’s “yes” reversed the “no” of Eve. Just as the Fourth Sunday of Advent leads directly into Christmas Eve, these readings are a preparation for the stories we will hear at our Christmas Masses. The stable, not the temple, was Christ’s first house on Earth. God didn’t come to the family of a king or priest, but invited a simple girl, nobody to notice, to be the mother of Jesus.
May we all bring Advent to an end and welcome Christmas with the one gift God wants from us – a listening and obedient heart! MARANATHA! COME LORD JESUS!
Father Joe and I wish you a merry and blessed Christmas!