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 Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today is the fourth and last Sunday of Advent. Today’s celebration is an excellent song to God’s everlasting love revealed in his covenant with his servant David. The mystery of the Old Covenant will soon be revealed in Mary, the ark of God’s New Covenant.
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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 will soon be fulfilled.
It is based on this same promise that both Luke and Matthew traced and wrote the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Mt 1:1-17; Lk 3: 23-38). The reason was to prove that Jesus is an offspring of David and one of whom the prophets spoke. The hidden mystery of the old covenant is about to be revealed in the new covenant.
In our second reading, Paul gives God glory for giving him the strength to preach the good news. He equally throws more light on the fact that Christ is the Mystery kept hidden for ages. His revelation is the salvation of the world. This good news is the mystery that 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 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 clear today. She receives the message with humility: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to 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.
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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, 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!