4th Sunday of Advent!
Promises, Fulfillments, and Surprises!
One of the most beautiful modern Christmas songs was written by Mark Lowry, who is best known as a comedian. Lowry is also a musician of some note, and he was asked in the year 1984 to write some words for his local church choir, and he wrote the following words, “Mary, did you s know that your baby boy would one day walk on water? Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?” A few years later, guitarist Buddy Greene gave a perfect tune, and a wonderful song was composed. “Mary, did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? Mary, did you know when you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God. Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?” This song has been around for more than two decades.
Could Mary have known what was happening to her with all that would follow when the Angel Gabriel came to her? Today’s Scriptures describe God’s promise to David, and its fulfillment in Jesus, the Son of David. It also explains the circumstances leading up to the first coming of Jesus as our Savior, and His coming at the end of time as our Judge. They also tell us that God’s preparations for the coming of Jesus was full of promises, fulfillment, and surprises.
The first reading (2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12,14-16) tells us of God’s promise to David that he would have a long line of royal descendants culminating in a final King, Jesus Christ. In the Responsorial Psalm (Ps 89), the Psalmist recalls all of God’s promises and surprises. The second reading (Romans16:25-27) surprises us with Paul’s explanation of the unveiling of God’s plan for human salvation through Jesus. In today’s Gospel (Lk1:26-38), the Angel Gabriel surprises Mary with 7 promises/announcements: 1) As a virgin betrothed to Joseph, she will become a mother. 2) She will become a mother through the Holy Spirit Who will come upon her, and the power of the most high will overshadow her. 3) Therefore, the Child to be born will be called Holy, the Son of God. 4) She is to name the Child Jesus, which means Savior. 5) God will make Him a King and, as a descendant in the line of David, 6) He will rule over the House of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom, there will be no end, 7) As a Divine sign, Mary’s aged barren cousin Elizabeth is six months pregnant because” nothing shall be impossible with God.”
The Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament consisted of the 10 Commandments in a golden box, which was a symbol of God’s special presence for the chosen people preserved among them in a tent for all most 300 years. The descendants of David ruled the kingdom of Judah for all most 400 years until they fell victim to the political power of the Assyrians and the Babylonians. However, the people never forgot the promises made to David, and they waited for a King from the Family of David. Through the story of the annunciation, Mary became the new Arc where the New King from the family of David is preserved for 9 months and brought forth into the world.
The “Fiat” of Mary, “May it be done in me according to your word,” though full of surprises, was very essential for the salvation of humankind as it opened the gate of redemption. Mary lent her womb and her entire life for Jesus and the whole world. We are also called today, dear friends, to lend our hearts and lives for Christ, for His Mystical Body, the Church, and the entire world. Every day, Angels come to us seeking our “fiat” through different peoples, events, and life experiences. We can hear their voice only when we tune our ears to their voice around us. The world needs a Savior. Certainly, it needs a Light that can dispel the darkness of our world, and even at times, from our own personal lives. Today’s Savior has to be brought forth into the world through our prayers, lives, and examples. We have to radiate Jesus who is the Savior of the universe by words and deeds. May Jesus be born not only in cathedrals and churches; but in the hearts and lives of each of us. May you and I be a manger for Baby Jesus or a moving tabernacle for living Jesus!
Merry Christmas in advance! May we be blessed by Baby Jesus!
Fr. Tomy Joseph Puliyanampattayil, MSFS (Fr. T. J. Puliyan, MSFS)