The 4th Sunday of Advent

4thAdventSundayOn this last Sunday before Christmas, we open our hearts to God’s gift, as it was prophesied:

Isaiah 7:14: The Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.

And told:

Luke 1:26-38: The birth of Jesus foretold

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

For with God nothing shall be impossible.

3 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:39-50: Mary Visits Elizabeth

And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

 

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11 Responses to The 4th Sunday of Advent

  1. MaryfromMarin says:

    A week early for this image, but I love it…

    Liked by 7 people

  2. derk says:

    “And blessed is she who believes”

    I love a miracle!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Menagerie says:

    From Bishop Barron today.

    Fourth Sunday in Advent
    THE NEW EVE
    As we near the birth of Christ, it’s worth turning to the beautiful and familiar story of the Annunciation. The angel Gabriel comes to a virgin named Mary to announce she will give birth to a son. Although undoubtedly shocked, Mary responds, “I am the maidservant of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” Mary abandoned her own plans and acquiesced to what God wanted her to do.

    The Church Fathers were fond of describing Mary as the new Eve, the new mother of all the living. In fact, some say the angel’s “ave” (“hail”) reversed “Eva.”

    What was Eve’s problem? Eve grasped at the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, claiming along with Adam that she would be the criterion of right and wrong, that her will would determine the nature of the good. Every one of our spiritual and moral problems flows from this primordial sin. But when Mary says, “Let it be done to me according to your word,” this spiritual momentum is stopped and then reversed. It is this reversal that allows Christ to be born into the world.

    Meister Eckhart noted that every Christian has the vocation of Mary, to bring Christ to birth. We each do this in our own ways and styles, according to the exigencies of our unique vocations. But we do this, Eckhart saw, the same way Mary did: by abandoning our projects and plans, our sense of the good life, and acquiescing to God’s purpose working through us.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Kutless – This is Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wooly Phlox says:

    I went to church this morning. First time in years. Overcame a lot of fear (fear not!) in doing this.

    I don’t know if it was the cold, or the whore-in-church feeling, or the alcoholism that caused me to shake the whole time, but I’m glad I went. She’s been trying to get me to go for months. Last week I chickened out.

    It was their annual Christmas service, and the adults and kids involved in the show put on quite a show, indeed.

    She dropped me off back at the apt, and drove off to a Christmas party an hour and a half away. I went to the liquor store and bought my daily libations.

    Outside at about 4:00, I see Bossman, while I’m on my perch smoking a cigarette, and he says “The company Christmas party (which I’ve missed once in 9 years, because I was with my folks) is in one hour at the bar, and you’re invited.”

    Oh, I quit last week. I didn’t think I’d be welcome, despite working for them for 9 years, because of the manner in which I quit. Not anger, just no notice. I just put the keys on the prep table and didn’t go back.

    I left the party early, because I really wasn’t welcome, since the Bosslady wouldn’t stop, at a Christmas Party, giving me grief and making me feel unwelcome. When she said “You only ever f**k us over,” I went home. After looking around at this beautiful barnwood bar and noticing all the things other than f**king them over I’ve done, and thinking about all the other things I do, in a flash of memory that could fill pages, I left.

    Later, I went back down to see if Bossman needed any help with anything, hung out for a while, and then, when it was just me and General Manager and his Wife, they decided to get into a domestic dispute involving punches to the face and kicks to the huevos.

    Me, being less than sober but not drunk (church, FTW), tried to quell their fighting, tried to break them up, attempted to restrain her from continuing to punch my other bossman in the face. Either one could have kicked my a&&.

    I gave up and went home. They finally left. I went back down to the restaurant I no longer work for (heh), looked around, tidied up, and left.

    I’ve had a day. I’ll be proving Bosslady wrong again tomorrow morning when I clear all their snow, and that of everyone else on the block, off the clock. Someone has to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lovely says:

      Luke 15:7
      I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

      My godfather and I were discussing this verse once, I was not raised with religion, as a child my family went to church for a while but it was more of an intellectual exercise and community based thing than a religious experience. My godfather was raised Roman Catholic but left the church in high school.

      We both led hedonistic lifestyles for years. I was 25 when I realized something needed to change he was about the same age. While our journey’s parallel each others we did not know each other at the time of our hedonistic living.

      I was at church after my “come to Jesus moment” but before I met my Godfather and Luke 15:7 was read and I thought, “Damn there are probably 400 people here and God is most happy with me because surely I am the biggest sinner.” I was quite happy and peaceful in that moment and it is a moment I can still touch. A peace I still have access to.

      So anyhow my Godfather and I were talking and I told him the story he kind of smiled and finally said “Just remember if I’m there you have competition 🙏🏼 Of course we both laughed in the truth of it all.

      Anyhow, he is a priest and sometimes when he was giving a homily we would just look at each other and smile at the beauty of Christ between us, among us and within us. Christ is never incompletely anywhere, He is wholly and holy present wherever He is, so no one has a smaller portion, some reject Him, some think they have the market on Him, some are sure of heart and have been their entire lives, and some just accept our smallness before Him with more comfort than others.

      Liked by 1 person

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