Fourth Sunday of Advent (C)
"Listen! You are to conceive and bear a Son"
The Word This Week
Its only in this last week before Christmas that we begin to hear about the Christmas story itself. For the past weeks we have been preparing ourselves to greet the Lord, when he comes. Now we prepare to remember how he first came, by listening to the prophecies of his coming, and by hearing of the events before his birth. We meet the woman, Mary, who herself had been prepared for the coming of the Messiah. She has received the angels greeting, and his strange news, and has accepted her role in Gods plan. Now she hurries to her kinswoman, Elizabeth, who herself bears John the Baptist in her womb. John, just as we heard last week, alerts us to the presence of the Lord, as he leaps for joy in his mothers womb. His joy is that God has kept his promise, and is with his people.
Notes for Readers
This prophecy speaks of
This is not easy. The reading is making a point about the Old Law of Israel (of performing animal sacrifices and oblations) being superseded by the New Law - where the perfect offering is a life of obedience. Jesus Christ, the one who took flesh in the womb of Mary, is perfectly obedient to His Father, and therefore is the perfect sacrifice. His Here I am, which He uttered by emptying himself of the glory of godhead to take human flesh in a womans womb, is the sacrifice that fulfils all the prophecies and promises of the Old Law (or Old Testament). The first part, quoting what Christ said is easy enough - just remember He is talking to His Father. The bit you have to be extra careful with is the second half: Notice that he says... . This is meant to be an explanation of the first half: it is all to do with the two sacrifices - that laid down by the Law (Old) and the Here I am of Jesus (New). Ask if youre not sure.
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