Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Advent 2020 Daily Reflections by John Cullen
20 December: Fourth Sunday of Advent
‘For nothing will be impossible with God.’ (Luke 1:37)
Brendan Rodgers is from Ballymena, County Antrim. He is a former player and coach of several football teams in the past including as a manager for Watford, Reading, Swansea, Liverpool and Celtic. He is the present manager of Leicester Football Club. In the notes of the match programme he always signs off with his characteristic three-word quip: ‘Everything is possible’. In one message of his I read, ‘I’ve always said that you can live without water for a few days, but you can’t live a second without hope.’
A woman once said to me, ‘I am living with constant tension in my home. I wait in hope for tender looks. All I have is a God who weeps.’ Advent is a time to believe and hope in a God who walks in and stays with the brokenness of our lives. The Gospel is a record of how Jesus enters into the darkness, like the seed growing in the ground, like a God who weeps, so that he can be the living, real presence for others who live with the emotional, spiritual and physical brokenness. In the Gospel, Jesus claims that he is the light that is uncontainable that extinguishes the darkness of loneliness, rejection, alienation and indifference.
In the Greek Orthodox Liturgy, when the bread and wine have been prepared and consecrated, the priest
lifts them up and says, ‘Holy things for the holy people – ta hagioi tois hagiois – Holy things for the holy people’. The entire congregation replies, ‘One is holy, One is Lord Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father’.
We have a similar payer in the Catholic liturgy of the Mass.
Brother Roger (1915–2005) founded an ecumenical monastery in Taizé as a
place of prayer, contemplation, fraternity, welcome and peace. Reflect on his words:
In each person there is a portion of solitude which no human intimacy can ever fill.
Yet you are never alone.
Christ is waiting for you and what you never dared hope for will spring to life.
(Brother Roger of Taizé)
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary
and became man.
(The Nicene Creed)
Gospel and Gosple Reflection are taken from Mass Readings and Sunday Homily - Catholicireland.net.