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IV Advent 18/12/2011

18/12/2011 – 4th Sunday in Advent Season - Year B

1Reading 2Sam 7,1-5.8-12.14.16 Psalm 88 2Reading Rom 16,25-27 Gospel Lk 1,26-38

St. Paul brings to an end the Letter to the Romans with a solemn praise to God. He almost see a miracle in the fact that the believer welcome the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. It takes only someone to proclaim it, for there is always someone ready to believe it. For many centuries no one knew nothing and now there are people who adhere to the faith. Faith is not the knowledge of something instead of something else, but it is obedience. Who believes obey Jesus Christ, begin a new life, join in the Church and in the Church live the life of her Lord, who continues to be the one who obeys. It is truly a work of God, and therefore a miracle, that men, so inclined to be independent, take the way of obedience, or better, the way of love in obeying.

The praise of the apostle is also our praise for his wisdom and because he knows how to surprise us by stirring the faith in sinners.

After all whatever God does is a surprise. The angel who goes to the “promised virgin” is the surprise of surprises. It is true that all were awaiting, but no one has ever immagined that God would have chosen a way so humble and simple and hidden to keep and fulfill his promises. Mary remains surprised more than anyone. The words of the prophets addressed to the whole nation is said of her alone. With those words the prophets proclaimed the good and beautiful news, the one which would made all happy and rejoicing: God would have come to walk side by side of his people, to be with men to begin with them his Reign. Mary remains confused: why is the greeting to her and only to her? She certainly thought like all the others: God needs great persons, important, famous, capable, to realise his great things. Instead, no: God choose the little ones and the poor, the weak and the ignorant. God chose her to send his Son into the world, the one to fulfill the prophecy of the great king David. And the angel said it: “The Lord God shall give him the throne of David his father and shall reign for ever on the house of Jacob and his reign shall have no end”.

Mary feels little, really little in front of these great events. Even David was little, the youngest among his brothers, when God chose him through Samuel to consacrate him king. And as David had to suffer much, be persecuted, fight against himself to fulfill the promise of God, so Mary thought to do who knows what, and ask the angel. Gabriel puts her at peace: she needed only to be open and let the power of God work in her. Was is it no so to David? At the close of his life he thought of building a temple for his God, a temple worthy of him. It seemed a good and just cause: he was living in a house, even more, a palace, and the ark of God was still in a tent. Even the prophet seemed to be convinced. But this was not what God thought. He is not so much interested in buildings, because his presence in them is only simbolic; he is more interested to be present among people, through them. This was to happen through the descendants of David, who will be the true glory of God, because he will be the perfect image. “I shall be for him a father and he shall be for me a son”: that son is now proclaimed to Mary. He is engaged to someone from the house of David, Joseph. His son shall be Son of God, son, there obedient. He shall see to fulfill the projects of God, whom he shall call <Father>. And the plan of God regarding salvation of all the nation and of all the peoples as it is written in the prophets. Because of this st. Paul turned to the Romans and made sure to proclaim the Gospel to all the gentiles.

Mary stared her awaiting in a sweet and humble way. She offerred herself as “the handmaid of the Lord”, ready to dedicate her life for the fullfilment of the Word of God. This is the attitude we too are to renew today. We wait to celebrate Christmas by offerring ourselves to God to give Jesus our years, months, days and hours. Hence he can have still a home here on earth, amongst men and women with whom we meet today and tomorrow. His house is our presence as obedient persons, persons who love to listen and do the Word of God, the one Jesus shall give us.