Advent Week Four - Cycle A
Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 22, 2019
“Through him we have received the grace of apostleship…called to belong to Jesus Christ…” ( Romans 1: 5 and 6) – Missionary Discipleship
“Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.” (Psalm Response)
How difficult in this year, when the fourth Sunday of Advent falls only two days before Christmas Eve, to maintain any sense of waiting for the Feast of the Incarnation. The readings this Sunday focus on Jesus’ identity and our identity as his followers. Isaiah offered a sign to the house of David that David’s heritage would last forever and Israel kept that hope alive. St. Paul reminds his listeners that ”we are called to belong to Christ… called to be holy.” Matthew presents Joseph to us, “a righteous man.” When he heard the news that Mary was pregnant, his first reaction was to walk away. God revealed to him that he had a role to play, and although he must have been shocked, he responded with trust and faith. “From astonishment to faith and submission of one’s life by the reception of the word, extraordinary as it may be—this is the path for all believers and the Church itself to follow—to respond to the call of God and his word.” (The Great Church Year, Karl Rahner, 43) How is God calling you to trust in him?
Turn oﬀ the lamps and dine by the light of all four Advent wreath candles now through Christmas.
Spend time in silence, meditating on courage, Jesus’ miraculous birth, or God’s call for you.
If you haven’t already, set up a Nativity scene in your home. Invite members of your family to describe elements of the scene as they might imagine it.
Spend Time at the Crib
Spend some quiet time, alone or with family members or friends, in prayer near the Nativity scene at home or in your parish. What does the manger teach us? How could God allow his Son to be born in a stable? Give thanks for the gift of Christ and the joy of the Christmas season to come.
Reflect: How might we be better witnesses, like Mary, Joseph and the angels, to God’s love for us in Christ?
Send a poinsettia to someone who needs cheering up. Include the legend: A poor Mexican girl had no present to give the baby Jesus at Christmas, so she picked a few weeds and tied them into a bouquet. When she knelt down to place her oﬀering at the crèche, they became bright red ﬂowers. From that day on, they were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or “Flowers of the Holy Night.” The shape represents the Star of Bethlehem and the red leaves symbolize the blood of Christ.