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Monday, 18 December 2023 09:21

Receive your God!

 The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you. ‘She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the 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 said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin? ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you,’ the angel answered, ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called the Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God. ‘’I am the handmaid of the Lord’, said Mary, ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38)

Reflection - Receive your God!

The great Christmas feast is almost here. As always in Advent, what is promised in the first reading is brought to fulfilment in the Gospel reading. We began Advent with the cry, ‘Come, Lord Jesus’. We will end it with the joyful shout, ‘God is with us!’

In the first reading King David wants to build a house (temple) for God, but God says that, instead, God will build David and his descendants into a great house. God is not about building temples to himself and it’s not dwelling-places made of wood or stone that God wants. God is about building a dwelling-place in human flesh. God is about building a people among whom and in whom he can live.

In the Gospel, Mary accepts God’s invitation to make herself into a dwelling place for God by receiving Christ and God makes his dwelling-place in her human flesh. Through her God has come to live permanently in humanity.

That is what we, too, are about – making ourselves into a living dwelling place for Christ. The great gift of Jesus to the world is not meant to be frozen in one moment of time. Through us, that Gift is made present in every moment of history so that through us Christ is able to continue to touch, to hold and to heal the world.

You can download and print our prayers and reflections for this Sunday.

pdf Celebrating At Home 4th Sunday of Advent [PDF] (1019 KB)                      
default Celebrating At Home 4th Sunday of Advent [ePub] (3.09 MB)

 

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Carmelite Rule

A rule of life was given to the early Carmelites by St Albert Avogadro, Patriach of Jerusalem between the years 1206 - 1214. It was finally approved by Pope Innocent in 1247 and later underwent mitigations which were not in the original text.

The Carmelite Rule states that is basic for a Carmelite to "live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ - how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of his Master" [no.2].

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