Saturday, December 19, 2009
4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT – C
Thus says the Lord: You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah too small to be among the
clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be
ruler in Israel; whose origin is from of old, from ancient times.
Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is
to give birth has borne, and the rest of his kindred shall return to
the children of Israel. He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by
the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord, his God;
and they shall remain, for now his greatness shall reach to the ends
of the earth; he shall be peace.
Brothers and sisters: When Christ came into the world, he said:
"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared
for me; in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight. Then I
said, `As is written of me in the scroll, behold, I come to do your
will, O God.'" First he says, "Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts
and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in." These are
offered according to the law. Then he says, "Behold, I come to do your
will." He takes away the first to establish the second. By this
"will," we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of
Jesus Christ once for all.
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of
Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice
and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of
your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord
should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting
reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you
who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be
The Gospel reading says that on hearing Mary's greeting to Elizabeth,
the child in Elizabeth's womb leapt for joy. Mary and Elizabeth's
encounter was a sharing of joy. Each had her own reason for a great
happiness but thought of the other's happiness. Joy that is shared is
doubled. It was a special joy because it found its source in God.
Wherever Mary goes, she provokes an explosion of joy like at the
wedding in Cana. In today's Gospel, the baby leaps for joy. Elizabeth
shouts her joy at being visited by the Lord in Mary's womb, and in
Mary's Magnificat the poor exult for joy because their liberation is
close at hand.
Mary is proclaimed blessed by Elizabeth because she believed that the
promise made to her by the Lord would be fulfilled. God made so many
promises to the chosen people of Israel through the prophets. But when
their fulfillment was delayed, the people doubted the word of the
Lord. They preferred to place their trust in themselves and in their
plans and it ended in total failure. Mary instead is blessed because
she trusted God. She was sure that in spite of all appearances to the
contrary, the word of the Lord would be fulfilled.
Maybe our communities and all of us today could be called blessed
because we have believed the word of the Lord. Let us try to question
ourselves, for instance, if we are really convinced that the promises
God made in the Beatitudes to the peacemakers, the non-violent, those
who offer the other cheek, those who do not seek vengeance, will
really be fulfilled. Perhaps we do believe in God but maybe only to a
certain point especially when God asks us to do something that goes
against human common sense. Mary is teaching us that it is worthwhile
to place our trust in the Lord; not just when it suits us or
occasionally but always. Perhaps in these next few days before
Christmas, we need to ask ourselves: "Where are we going to find him,
the Messiah, the expected Savior? Is it on the surface of life?
As one family, let us prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord in
faith, in simplicity, in humility and in availability. Christmas is a
family feast. Let us learn to give up our inflexibility and
stubbornness and be good to one another. Forgive one another and do
our share in creating a hearty atmosphere in our home. Give God all
the chances of becoming human in our home, in our family, in the union
of our married partnership, in the oneness between parents and
children. So many things can become signs of our availability and of
God's graciousness. All these signs combine to become the sacrament of
our Christmas this year: God becomes man and He becomes human among
us, in our homes, our hearts, our community and in our world.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the strength and healing of:
- Francis Torres
- Mon Torres
… for the personal intentions of Josheil Dapo
…In Thanksgiving: Ian Travis Ylaya
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Antonio S. Co
- Raul and Epifania Ylaya
- Rodolfo Bernal
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for the victims of natural disasters
… for the healing and peace of all families
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Marcus Ng
- Birthday: Ma. Paz K. Fabella
- In Memoriam (+): Mary Yang
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
Parish Priests' e-mail:
Fr. J. Cesar R. Marin, S. J. firstname.lastname@example.org
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