Fourth Sunday in Advent - B – December 21, 2014

The Annunciation

The narrative of the Annunciation brought many themes together: divine revelation, fulfillment of prophecy, teaching on the Trinity, the nature of faith as trust. But, at its core, the narrative is the call of the first Christian and her total, perfect response.


WEEKLY BLOG LINK  A Life Changing Choice.

VIDEOCAST  In this videocast connecting the Catechism of the Catholic Church with the weekly gospel reading, we investigate the Annunciation and Mary, the Mother of God.

MP3 PODCAST In this week’s audio podcast, we ask about plans. Especially about the holidays, we get so busy, we have to depend upon schedules and habits to keep us sane. In the hassle, we try to fit God into our plans. But, isn’t this backwards? Should we be asking how we can fit into God’s plans?

FIRST READING The second book of Samuel presented King David at the height of his reign. He entered Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant. Now, he wanted to build God a Temple. But the Lord had other plans. He promised the everlasting reign of David’s heirs.

PSALM Psalm 89 was a mixed hymn of praise and desperation. God was praise for his power and for the fidelity of his chosen, King David. But, in time, the Davidic line became weak and the nation fell to foreign powers. So, the author concluded, how long, O Lord, how long must we wait for salvation?

SECOND READING Why should we praise God? We praise God because of those who passed the tradition on to us. We praise God for his presence and activity among us. And, we praise God for the support that the Christian community gives us; we are not alone in faith. St. Paul’s final doxology in his letter to the Romans praise God for tradition, presence, and community.

GOSPEL The narrative of the Annunciation in Luke’s gospel addressed the subjects of honor and faith. Mary was offered the gift of God’s honor as the mother of the Messiah. But, she would have to endure the shame of gossip, innuendo, and slander from her human community. To endure the criticism, she would have to trust in God’s providence.

CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, Jesse fumed over all the broken promises people made to him in the rush up to Christmas. Then, Jesse realized Jesus came to keep God’s promises, despite the fact Jesus must have felt alone, like Jesse felt. In the story for the gospel, Sunny ‘s German Shepherd was pregnant. It was tense time around her house. When would the puppies arrive? The Annunciation presented uncertainty to Mary, but not a loss of faith in the power of God.

CATECHISM LINK In this week’s Catechism link, we discuss Mary as the Mother of God, the Nativity and Incarnation, and the Epiphany.

FAMILY ACTIVITY As Christmas approaches, you may find tensions rise in your home. As these final weeks bring Advent to a close, we should take time with our families to pray together.