'So was the Word made incarnation / In Mary's womb, a son.' Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday of Advent, Year B
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland)
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Gospel Luke 1:26-38 (English Standard Version Anglicised: India)
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favoured one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
The Gospel of this Fourth Sunday of Advent proposes to us the account of the Annunciation (Lk 1: 26-38), the mystery to which we return every day in reciting the Angelus. This prayer makes us relive the decisive moment at which God knocked at Mary's heart and, having received her "yes", began to take flesh, in her and from her.
The Collect of today's Mass is the same as the one we recite at the end of the Angelus that in Italian, says: "Infondi nel nostro spirito la tua grazia, O Padre. Tu che all'annunzio dell'Angelo ci hai rivelato l'incarnazione del tuo Figlio, per la sua passione e la sua croce guidaci alla gloria della risurrezione" [Fill our hearts with your love, and as you revealed to us by an angel the coming of your Son as man, so lead us through his suffering and death to the glory of his Resurrection].
With only a few days until the Feast of Christmas, we are invited to fix our gaze on the ineffable mystery that Mary treasured for nine months in her virginal womb: the mystery of God who is made man.
This is the first foundation of the redemption. The second is the death and Resurrection of Jesus and these two inseparable aspects express a single divine plan: to save humanity and its history, assuming them fully by taking on the entire burden of all the evil that oppresses it.
Traditional Latin Mass (TLM)
The Fourth Sunday of Advent .
The complete Mass in Latin and English is here. (Adjust the date at the top of that page to 12-20-2020, if necessary).
Authentic beauty, however, unlocks the yearning of the human heart, the profound desire to know, to love, to go towards the Other, to reach for the Beyond.
Pope Benedict XVI meeting with artists in the Sistine Chapel, 21 November 2009.