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Diocese News 12.24.2019

Fourth Sunday of Advent

The time of fulfillment approaches, indeed, it is already here as the redeemer dwells beneath the heart of Mary. The Shepherd of Israel has harkened to the prayers of his people and has sent a Savior. The process of redemption has begun.

Not from Jerusalem, but from the hill country village of Bethlehem, the Savior will come forth. From the hometown of David, where he was called to kingship by Samuel, the Messiah, will come. What could be more appropriate?

We are reminded that the perfect sacrifice, to which the Messiah is called, is to do the will of the Father. This foreshadows a New Covenant, not marked by the ineffective “sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings” of the Old Covenant, but by obedience to God’s will.

Mary, whose “fiat” is a perfect submission to God’s will, reaches out to her aged and pregnant cousin Elizabeth, hurrying to her side. She becomes the first evangelist, carrying the Word to another. Elizabeth’s words of greeting, joined to those of Gabriel, will forever enshrine the event in the beloved Hail Mary.

John the Baptist leaps in Elizabeth’s womb in recognition of the Savior and the two mothers-to-be praise God that the time of fulfillment is at hand.