Fourth Sunday of Advent

fourth sunday wreath

MI 5:1-4A

Thus says the LORD:
You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah
too small to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel;
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient times.
Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time
when she who is to give birth has borne,
and the rest of his kindred shall return
to the children of Israel.
He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock
by the strength of the LORD,
in the majestic name of the LORD, his God;
and they shall remain, for now his greatness
shall reach to the ends of the earth;
he shall be peace.

GospelLK 1:39-45

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

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49 Responses to Fourth Sunday of Advent

  1. MaryfromMarin says:

    A blessed Fourth Sunday in Advent to everyone…

    Liked by 17 people

  2. The “song” of Mary is a beautiful example of obedience and trust. So worth reading in troubled times.
    Thanks for posting these beautiful verses.

    Liked by 8 people

    • pnj01 says:

      That is actually the song of Elizabeth, the mother of the Forerunner of Christ, St. John the Baptist. It is the unquoted reply by Mary to Elizabeth that is called the Song of Mary, or (from its Latin first word) the Magnificat. Mary’s reply was this (Luke 1:46-55):

      “My soul magnifies the Lord,
      and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
      for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
      for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
      His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
      He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
      He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
      he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
      He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
      according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” (NRSV)

      At least when I was a kid, every Catholic school student learned the Magnificat as a prayer we would say to the Glory of God and in imitation of the Mother of Our Lord. Mary didn’t just believe. She had converted that belief into action: traveling across the length of Israel to her cousin’s house to give Elizabeth support during her own difficult birth (Elizabeth was of advanced years when she too had become pregnant).

      Liked by 6 people

      • Carrie2 says:

        pnjo1, and again He will bring down the powerful as I always see our Republic a gift from God when chosen by our Founding Fathers who were Christians and fought and died to give us this Republic of freedom and rights. The powerful always think they will conquer and in the end always lose.

        Like

  3. cripto says:

    Listen and enjoy.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Carrie2 says:

      Brings back memories of when churches had beautiful choral groups and these beautiful songs written to honor our Lord. And always loved the organ being played which always seemed to add “body” to the singing.

      Like

  4. cripto says:

    Perhaps a prayer or two for the Christian churches in China who are under attack. They need our prayers.
    https://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/30932-church-in-china-under-intense-attack-by-communist-government

    Liked by 10 people

    • moe grimm says:

      And the Kurds, and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria. None have suffered more at the hands of isis. Christians there as well.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Carrie2 says:

        more grimm, so true and my heart bleeds for the huge number of Christians murdered by ISIS and the women raped before being taken as slaves or just plain murdered. Sooner or later they will pay that very big bill. So many other groups as well murdered and that makes us weep for them, but also knowing they are with our Lord.

        Like

    • Carrie2 says:

      cripto, oddly enough I have traveled several times to China and even studied in China and the Catholic church is increasing/growing tremendously. I always attend Mass wherever we are in a province. Yes, there is still some control but not as fierce as it used to be. Even surprised me that there are 7 Catholic Churches as well as other denominations in Malaysia. So I cannot say Christian churches are under attack with my own experiences. Things have changed a lot since we first visited China in 2005 and each time we go even more changes, more freedom, more futures for their citizens.

      Like

  5. Reality says:

    I’m not a Christian or a deist but agree with vigour that Judeo Christian societal values are the foundation and essential building blocks of Western Society.
    We got lucky about that and now those values rule the civilised world.

    And yet, the prayer of the Australia Light Horse (who destroyed the Turkish Ottoman Empire in WW1) is more my style:
    “God, if you aren’t going to help me, please don’t hinder me and we’ll get on just beaut (fine)”.

    Liked by 4 people

    • MightyMustardSeed says:

      Blessings and joy to you Reality. We sometimes forget our good foundation. Thanks for the reminder.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Nathan Hale says:

      Your are closer to God than you realize. Reach out, He is standing by your side waiting for your invitation.

      May God Bless You!

      Liked by 6 people

      • Suite D says:

        God bless you and Merry Christmas, Nathan Hale. At the age of 70 I reached out and there He was! What a blessing! It’s never too late. May you find His love and peace, Reality. May God bless our country. Amen.

        Liked by 6 people

    • Reality, If you have ever been Combat and your Heart is about to leap out of your Throat from Sheer Terror, watched your Buddy breathe his last Breath, your fingers stuck together from the Blood you were trying to desperately stop one of your squad members, removed Brain tissue from your Fatigues from your now Dead Friend you too will understand that the Lord Jesus was there every step of the way….EVERY STEP.
      Jesus is watching and waiting for you to simple ask him to come in to your Heart.
      Everybody thinks of Jesus as just a Loving, Kind and Meek person. I say, No Sir! Jesus has looked PURE Evil in the Face and Summarily defeated him.
      Jesus was Crucified, Died and was Buried…Descended into Hell…On the third day, Jesus rose from the Dead…Victorious. Sin equals DEATH. Jesus was Sinless and DEATH had NO hold on him.
      My Dear Lord and Savior has seen it ALL from Evils inception. At his Resurrection he gave Lucifer aka. Satan a Mortal Wound of which there is No recovery.
      All Jesus asks of us is to “Lend an Ear, to Hear.’

      Liked by 5 people

      • MTeresa says:

        “Everybody thinks of Jesus as just a Loving, Kind and Meek person. I say, No Sir! Jesus has looked PURE Evil in the Face and Summarily defeated him.”

        It’s so frustrating that much of society has created this image of Christ being so meek. I agree with you – talk about strength and courage! My God!! How amazing is our Jesus Christ?!!!

        Liked by 6 people

        • Carrie2 says:

          MTeresa, can we say that Jesus has given us Trump for the same reason – to not be meek and mild but get accomplished what we true American want done. I also love our many nuns of olden times who were also bold and strong, and my favorite (since she was the name of our college) is St. Teresa who was able to speak bluntly to God but gave us great wisdom.

          Liked by 2 people

      • olderwiser21 says:

        Oldfat – I love this summation of Christ and what he offers. Thank you! So beautifully written.

        Liked by 2 people

    • LSE says:

      I love it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. TNGal says:

    A new revelation that I had yesterday was that when John the Baptist was in the womb of Elizabeth, he leaped upon hearing the good news. He already had an identity, of course, and responded to the news about the birth of Christ.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. pnj01 says:

    St. John the Baptist was the Forerunner of the Messiah, announcing His Coming even to his own mother, St. Elizabeth.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Jeff P. says:

    God Bless every one of us. To those on the fence, I can say this. My life Before Christ was a terrible mess with no direction and no hope. Sad, frustrating, maddening, not a lot of Joy.
    Today my life is Still that same Terrible mess, but I have Joy and Direction and Guidance now and when problems arise I have a place to take them where I am NOT JUDGED by the stain of humanity for my faults, but I am Lifted up in Strength, because of my WEAKNESS as long as I Let Go of the problem so that My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can fix it, according to his good and perfect will.
    Life is messy, we have so many issues/attitudes/judgments thrown at us from society, from family, friends, work, church,SELF,& so on and so forth that we become overwhelmed sometimes. Giving these things over to God Lifts the burden from OUR shoulders and puts them on the the Strongest pair of shoulders in existence…HIS.
    BTW, I am the absolute WORST at letting things go….but I find in the end, if I let it go, and let it pass from my mind, pretty soon a solution shows up. Be it what I was wanting it to be or whether God has a better Idea that I am just not able to see it, the Burden is GONE or in a state to where I can look at it and Find a solution or be at Peace with it. Either way,it is the ACT of FAITH that fixes it, not the actual solution itself. That was just waiting to be handed to us by God, we just had to let go so he could fix it. Like a Toddler and their broken favorite toy, they want it fixed, but cannot let it go to have it done, but they DO let it go, so that Mom or Dad can fix it or replace it. God is our FATHER ask in Faith, Doubting NOTHING and it WILL be given to you.
    Have a Blessed 4th Sunday of Advent all, Thanks for letting me share.
    Off to Church……

    Liked by 5 people

  9. eich09 says:

    Thank you for posting this. I’m not a very religious man, but reading the scriptures you post brings me a sense of peace.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. cliffaheadwolvesbehind says:

    Thank you for these advent posts.Listening to Christmas music in the car, I realized they don’t play any religious songs. It’s all so empty, fighting for a parking spot at the mall.Running, running, for what? I feel rather empty this advent.
    I’m inspired now to put on the old Christmas movies, Going my way, Bells of St. Marys, The Bishop s Wife, and It’s a Wonderful Life.
    I need to spend some time where God is the reason.
    Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. VinceWhirlwind says:

    From a reflection by Fr. Mitch Pacqua that I saw on television the other night about this gospel:

    This gospel contains the first beatitudes.

    1. “Blessed are you among women, and Blessed is the fruit of your womb”. Mary, The Ark of The Covenant, is to be revered. These are the dominant lines of The Rosary. It is a line directed at Mary herself, and she responds that, yes, all generations will call me Blessed. Hail! Full of Grace!

    2. “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled”. This is directed at us all as Christians. This is confirmed later in Jesus’ ministry when told that the woman who he nursed from was Blessed, Jesus responds with, no, Blessed are those that hear the word of God and respond to it.

    We are all saved by Grace. BUT!. Am I taking full advantage of the graces bestowed upon me as a baptized Christian, here and now? As I listen for the voice of God, quietly whispering to me in prayer, am I really open to His will, what I am called to do? Am I cooperating with the plan? Really? Or am I a hypocrite? Of course I’m a hypocrite, because I’m a sinner. But I’m not a hypocrite because I go to Mass, rather….. I go to Mass because I’m a hypocrite.

    Holy Mary, Mother of God…pray for us sinners. Now and at the hour of our death.

    Amen!! (AMDG)

    Liked by 5 people

  12. GrandpaM says:

    Thank you! Merry Christmas and God bless us all, everyone!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. P says:

    For Unto Us A Child Is Born

    Amir’s message on Isaiah 9:6 and birth of the Messiah. Can God have a son? Is that anything Biblical? Why was He born? Why unto us? How come He is given? How did His birth change everything? Should we, the Jews in Israel, mark His birth?

    Submitted in love

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie2 says:

      P,and then when Jesus returned to Heaven He left us the Holy Spirit to continue God’s love and message to us. So many forget that there is a Holy Spirit but God is here with us still.

      Like

      • P says:

        Carrie2: Oh yes, completely agree! The Holy Spirit (our Comforter) is definitely here with us not only indwelling believers but also because it is His presence that restrains the antichrist until He is taken away (i.e., at the rapture of the Church, when we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air [1 Thess 4:17]).

        2 Thess 2:7-10
        (7) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He which now withholdeth, shall let till He be taken out of the way.

        (8) And then shall that wicked man be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall abolish with the brightness of His coming,

        (9) Even him whose coming is by the effectual working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders,

        (10) And in all deceivableness of unrighteousness, among them that perish, because they received not the love of the Truth, that they might be saved.

        John 16: 7-14
        (7) Yet I tell you the truth, It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, that Comforter will not come unto you: but if I depart, I will send Him unto you,

        (8) And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.

        (9) Of sin, because they believed not in Me:

        (10) Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye shall see Me no more.

        (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

        (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

        (13) Howbeit, when He is come which is the Spirit of Truth, He will lead you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, shall He speak, and He will show you the things to come.

        (14) He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.

        Submitted in love.

        Like

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