Homily For 4th Sunday Of Advent, Year B

The Mystery In Mary, The Ark Of The New Covenant

Readings: 1st: 1Sam 7, 1-5. 8-16: Ps 88, 2-5. 27. 29; 2nd: Rom 16, 25-27: Gos: Lk 1, 26-38

This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today is the fourth and last Sunday of Advent. Today’s celebration is a great song to the everlasting love of God revealed in his covenant with his servant David. The mystery of the Old Covenant will soon to be revealed in Mary, the ark of God’s New Covenant.

In our first reading, in appreciation of God’s love, David wished to build a house for God. However, God would not allow him. Instead, God made a promise to David, and sealed it with a covenant: “…I will preserve the offspring of your body after you…I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to me …your throne will be established forever” This promise and covenant is what we expect to be fulfilled soon.

It is based on this same promise that both Luke and Matthew proceeded to traced and wrote the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Mt 1:1-17; Lk 3: 23-38). The reason was to prove that Jesus is actually an off spring of David, and one whom the prophets spoke about. The hidden mystery of the old covenant is about to be revealed in the new covenant.

n our second reading, Paul gives glory to God because of the strength he gave him to preach the good news. He equally, throws more light on the fact that Jesus is the Mystery that has been kept hidden for ages. His revelation is the salvation of the world. This good news is the mystery which God himself concealed in the old covenant.

As we continue our preparation for Christmas, we must continue to give all glory to God for what he is about to do in our lives and in our world. Hence, Paul’s message today sets us on the track towards the incarnation of God’s word which is very close at hand.

The Gospel of today presents us with two important figures in the “drama of the nativity of Christ.” First the angel Gabriel, the faithful messenger appears with a message. His message is about the fulfillment of a promise. It is also, about the revelation of the hidden mystery of the old covenant in the new. Jesus Christ is that mystery!

Mary’s role in the history of salvation stands out clearly today. She receives the message with humility: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it is done unto me according to your words.” With these humble words, she accepted her role in the history of salvation. Mary’s faith was a statement of her total self-donation to God’s own will for our salvation.

Her response was a statement of her humility, generosity, courage, and love for humanity. Hence through here generosity, Mary reminds us that this is a season of joy, receiving and sharing. Today, as the angel brought the good news to Mary so also, we must continue spreading this message.

Finally, as we wait for the next couple of hours for the manifestation of the new covenant and the fulfillment of God’s promise to his servant David, let us join the psalmist in proclaiming: “I will sing forever of your love, O lord.  In all the ages, my mouth will proclaim your truth!”

Peace be with You!


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