Fourth Sunday of Advent
Today is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. In today's Gospel from Saint Luke we hear the story of the Annunciation. Some two thousand years ago the Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to the little town of Nazareth with the greatest news the world has ever heard. A child was to be born of Mary, the Son of God was coming into the world He created...and as a little baby.
The almighty God comes to us as a little baby! Our sense of wonder has perhaps been dulled to this amazing reality by the repetition of years, by the adorable little babies in quaint Nativity scenes, by the well-worn stories of His birth. But, let's look on these events today with a new set of eyes, with Mary's eyes. Let us experience what she must have experienced at the revelation of the Messiah—shock, terror, joy, wonder!—and that she was to be His mother!
God is coming to His people not as an all-powerful warrior to conquer Rome and set up His terrestrial kingdom but as a little baby to conquer the hearts of all peoples and establish His eternal Kingdom within them! Maranatha, come, Lord Jesus!
Some millions of years having passed since the creation of the world,
when in the beginning God created heaven and earth,
some thousands of years from the salvation of man,
when the family of Noah survived the flood,
about nineteen centuries after the promise was given to Abraham
the father of our faith,
many ages after Moses brought the people from bondage in Egypt,
a thousand years after the anointing of David as king over the chosen people,
in fulfilment of the times and years and months and days,
discerned by the vision of the prophets,
in the course of secular history,
in the one hundred and ninety-third Olympiad,
seven and one half centuries from the founding of the city of Rome,
in the twentieth year of the reign of the Emperor Octavian Augustus,
while the whole world enjoined a span of peace,
in the sixth and final age of human achievement,
wishing to consecrate the whole world and all time
by His blessed presence,
Jesus Christ eternal God and son of the Eternal Father,
conceived as man by the overshadowing of the holy spirit,
after nine months of growth in the womb of his mother,
was born of the Virgin Mary
and for our salvation became man
in Bethlehem in Judah,
now in our own times this marks the birthday
of Our Lord Jesus Christ
after the manner of all flesh.