Fourth Sunday of Advent: The Lord promises his people

The Gospel passage this day from Luke 1:26-38 invites us to contemplate the extraordinary interplay of divine initiative and human response. The son of David will be the Son of God! His reign will have no end. The Annunciation story is heard only once in the Sunday readings every three years. It brings our focus back to Mary’s 'Yes' which concentrates God within us and radiates outwards to those we encounter.

The first Reading this day is a wonderful dialogue between the prophet Nathan and King David. This changing of sides is the great turnaround which becomes the central theme of the Bible. We set out like David thinking we have to do something to prove ourselves to God (“build God a house” is the metaphor.) As always, God turns it around and says, “No David, let me build You a house!”

Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8,9,10,11,16


After Verse 16 the story continues … “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?”

When was the last time you brought yourself before God, like King David, simply to offer praise for all God has done for you? 

It’s easy for us to feel too busy to take time for God. Let’s take a quiet moment to place ourselves in humility before our God and to praise God for the good we experience.

In this quiet, think of all the positive and happy things in your life and in your own words give thanks.

Take a quiet moment to reflect on this time of anticipation.

Responsorial psalm 89 (88)

Response: Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Here are three Youtube versions you might like to choose from.

Owen Alstott  HERE 

Songs in His Presence HERE

Jojo Olarte HERE

In courtyard of the basilica Nazareth2020 12 07 at 1.19.15 PM

Angel Gabriel greeting Mary.

Sculpture outside the Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth. 

Gospel according to Luke 1:26-38

The annunciation has been the subject of thousands of artistic interpretations. How to interpret Mary’s response through art?

There are so many moments to capture her initial shock, fear, sense of awe and wonder, questions, and humble acceptance of God’s glory.

Here are three contrasting images which may encourage more mediation today…

Zaborsky 2020 12 09 at 9.26.55 PM   The Annunciation by Zaborksky

Proclamation of JC birth86249734 s 2

Proclamation of Jesus birth, Archangel Gabriel speaks to the virgin Mary. Graphic collage from an engraving. Slovakia

Annunciation Taize 2020 12 07 at 2.11.56 PM  The Annunciation window at Taize


Prayer during the Royal Commission December to January 2021.

To locate prayer suggestions for inclusion in the Prayer of the faithful for this week in Advent HERE