4th Sunday of Advent – 2017

Adv4B17.   2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16.   Through the prophet Nathan, God says, “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Should you build me a house to dwell in?’” God goes on to assert that it is he who gets things done, using David as his servant.  In the narration that follows, using the word ‘I’ eleven times, God makes it clear that it is his omnipotence that has accomplished the good things that have been done for Israel.  It was not David but God with David’s cooperation who accomplished all the good.

Luke 1:26-38.  The angel Gabriel, sent by God, announces to Mary, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,.”  Mary responds, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word.”  Mary accepts her role as servant of God’s will, as David had been ages before.  Since Mary recognizes that it will not be by her action that this birth will occur, she asks the angel, ‘How can this be?”  “And the angel said to her in reply, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” It is God’s power with Mary’s cooperation that brings about the wondrous divine act of divinity taking on humanity so that in his humanity Jesus is able to offer himself up to the Father as a redemptive sacrifice for our sins and so open the gates of heaven to those who wish to enter by living out a life of faith in Jesus the Christ.

In the Christmas Vigil Mass, Isaiah (62:5) proclaims, “As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you.  And as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.”  Through Mary all humanity that serves God as Mary did, in a sense, becomes a bride to God.  Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 11:2: “For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God, since I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”  In the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:10b), the five wise virgins went into the wedding feast with the bridegroom.  At the judgment time those who have filled their lives with holiness become the bride of Christ, the new Jerusalem (Revelation. 21:2), God’s holy people.

At the end of the first reading, God says through the prophet Samuel, I will make his kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.  Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”  Through Mary’s son Jesus, God fulfills his promise.  In this Gospel reading, the angel says to Mary, Jesus “will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his Father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Romans 16:25-27.  Paul glorifies God who has made known to all nations the mystery kept secret for long ages that Jesus is Lord and so we ought to obey him by putting our faith in him.

Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29.  “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord,” for fulfilling his promises made to David.