Saturday, 21 December 2019 19:00

Fourth Sunday in Advent (A) 2019

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advent19a4 350Our Advent journey is nearing its end. Soon we will celebrate the great Christmas Feast. Our journey has called us to: stay awake to the coming of God, prepare to receive the Lord, rejoice for he is coming, and to receive him again with faith and love.

At Christmas we will hear the call to give birth to him in word and action so that the saving power of God may be seen and experienced through our every thought, word and action.

As always in Advent, the first reading proclaims the promise and the Gospel shows its fulfilment. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with us’.”

Today’s Gospel tells how Joseph received both Mary and Jesus into his home. The great gift of Jesus to the world cannot be confined only to one moment in history. Through us, the Body of Christ, the Gift is given again and again; born into every moment of human history. The presents we exchange at Christmas are meant to be symbols of our readiness to give and receive Christ, the eternal gift of God’s love.

As, year by year, we travel the liturgical journey of the Church’s feasts and seasons we touch ever more deeply the living presence of Christ in us that we may become ever more deeply the living presence of Christ in the world.

Isaiah 7:10-14

The Lord spoke to Ahaz and said, ‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign for yourself coming either from the depths of Sheol or from the heights above.’ ‘No,’ Ahaz answered ‘I will not put the Lord to the test.’
Then Isaiah said:

‘Listen now, House of David:
are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men
without trying the patience of my God, too?
The Lord himself, therefore,
will give you a sign.
It is this: the maiden is with child
and will soon give birth to a son
whom she will call Immanuel,
a name which means “God-is-with-us.”

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