Reflection for 4thSunday of Advent, Year B
(2 Sam 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16; Rm 16:25-27; Lk 1:26-38)

We are rounding up the Advent season and warming up to usher in Christmas. In the first reading, we see David with his good intention to build a house for God. It sounded so righteous and acceptable even to Nathan the prophet. But God declared that He would build an everlasting dynasty for David. The righteousness of David would now be to accept what God was offering; to dispose of himself to the plan of God. Similarly, St Paul says in the Second reading that the Gospel is preached to bring about ‘obedience of faith.’ As the hidden mysteries are revealed to us through the preaching of the Gospel, we are expected to respond to its demands, and allow it to pull us to God’s plan of salvation in Christ Jesus.

The Angel Gabriel’s message to the Blessed Virgin Mary announces the fulfillment of God’s promise to David, while Mary stands as the model of the authentic response expected of us at Christmas. Mary’s goodwill, humility, and availability to God’s plan shine out and inspire us. Her prompt and unreserved submission to the will of God cannot be compared. The Angel greeted, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” And she gave her full response, indicating that no grace given to her was left unused. In other words, she cooperated fully to the grace of God in her.

Mary’s answer to the Angel, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word,” has become a sort of format for every authentic response to the Gospel message. The obedience of faith we give to God’s plan of salvation every day is silently modeled after Mary’s response. The best of our good intentions can easily be misguided. That is why our righteousness lies in our availability and cooperation with God’s grace to fulfill His will in our lives. All our goodwill and virtuous acts become means of disposing ourselves to respond without reserve to God’s grace. Therefore, we echo Mary’s response to this Advent as Christmas dawns. We incline our hearts to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, that her maternal help will prepare us to welcome Jesus without reservation. Amen.

 Fr Jude Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Lagos.
Sunday, December 20th, 2020.



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