Celebrate Sunday Mass - Fourth Sunday of Advent - 12.20.20

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12/20/2020 (1 month ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Gaudete! REJOICE!

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO SUNDAY MASS ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler. The response to offering these beautiful liturgies has been overwhelming. The readings, as always, offer so much for us to reflect on. It is helpful to pray through them and reflect upon them before we assist at Holy Mass.

Our first reading on this Fourth Sunday of Advent is a group of selected passages from the 7th chapter of the Book of Samuel. The chapter, in context, is a dialogue between Nathan the Prophet and King David. David brought the Ark of God back to Jerusalem. It was placed in a tent. He wants to build a house within which to place it. 

The Lord raises a concern about having a temple built for Him to live in. Then. the Lord tells David, through His Prophet, that his posterity, his kingship, will endure forever.  That promise concerning the Kingship of David is brought to its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and son of Mary. All the promises made to Israel are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, of David's lineage. 

And David, the Psalmist and Prophet, leads us in the Psalm response which we will chant or recite from Psalm 89: - "I have made your dynasty firm forever, built your throne stable age after age. The heavens praise your wonders, Yahweh, your constancy in the gathering of your faithful. So, I shall make him my first-born, the highest of earthly kings. I have established his dynasty forever, his throne to be as lasting as the heavens."

In our second reading, we will hear the closing lines of the letter which the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans. He wrote of "...that mystery which for endless ages was kept secret but now (as the prophets wrote) is revealed, as the eternal God commanded, to be made known to all the nations..."

What is that mystery? 

It is that in and through Jesus Christ, the Gentiles and their "obedience of faith" - by repenting of their sins, professing belief in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God, and being baptized into Him - are now grafted into the people of God and made coheirs of the promises. 

The Church is the New Israel, and the child whose birth we will soon commemorate is the fulfillment of every Messianic promise made to Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures. In and through Jesus Christ, the newborn King, the whole world is invited into the kingdom of God.

The Gospel on this Sunday before Christmas, the Nativity of the Lord, brings us once again the wonderful account of the Annunciation when Gabriel, the Angel, the Messenger of the Lord, visits the Virgin of Nazareth, Mary and says: 

"Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God's favor. Look! You are to conceive in your womb 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 forever and his reign will have no end.'"

Mary's FIAT, her YES, her surrender to the will of God, brought heaven to earth and lifted earth to heaven. At that moment, the Incarnation began. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Word through whom the whole universe was fashioned, became a human person, a child in the womb of Mary. She became the Ark of the New Covenant - the one whom the early Called fathers called "the Second Eve", the Mother of the New Creation, the Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mary, in her selflessness, was open to the angel's visit and believed the message the Lord spoke through him. She recognized who was speaking. She listened, received, and responded with her YES! Be it done unto me according to your word. 

In so doing, she also demonstrated the framework for all authentic Christian spirituality. God initiates a relationship with us through His Son Jesus and we are invited to respond in our own personal surrender to Him. By saying "Yes", through our own Fiat, we are set apart...consecrated... made holy. We also become servants of the Lord.


May the Lord bless you, your families, the Church, and the Nations of the world on this Lord's Day.   

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

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