Advent Reflection – 20 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12, 14, 16, Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29, Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38
The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.
O KEY OF DAVID,
and Sceptre of the House of Israel,
who opens and no-one shuts,
who shuts and no-one opens.
Come and bring forth the captive from his prison,
he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.
“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 forever and of his kingdom there will be no end.” – Luke 1:32-33
REFLECTION – “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.” What is said of the house of David applies not only to Joseph but also to Mary. It was a precept of the law that each man should marry a wife from his own tribe and kindred. Saint Paul also bears testimony to this when he writes to Timothy: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my Gospel” (2 Tm 2:8) …
“He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.” The angel refers to the kingdom of the Israelite nation as the throne of David because, in his time, by the Lord’s command and assistance, David governed it with a spirit of faithful service … As David had once ruled the people with temporal authority, so Christ would now lead them to the eternal kingdom by His spiritual grace …
“He will reign over the house of Jacob forever..” The house of Jacob here refers to the universal Church which, through its faith in and witness to Christ, shares the heritage of the patriarchs. This may apply either to those who are physical descendants of the patriarchal families, or to those who come from gentile nations and are reborn in Christ by the waters of baptism. In this house Christ shall reign forever and “of his kingdom there will be no end.”
During this present life, Christ rules in the Church. By faith and love He dwells in the hearts of His elect and guides them by His unceasing care toward their heavenly reward. In the life to come, when their period of exile on earth is ended, He will exercise His Kingship, by leading the faithful to their heavenly country. There, forever inspired by the vision of His presence, their one delight will be, to praise and glorify Him.” – St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Priest and Monk, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies for Advent, no 3
PRAYER – Lord, at the angel’s message, Mary, the immaculate Virgin became the temple of God and was filled with the light of the Holy Spirit, when she received Your divine Word. Grant that, after her example, we may humbly and steadfastly follow Your will. Through Christ the Incarnate Word, our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all ages, amen.