Daily Readings Reflection for 12/20/09

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Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 20, 2009 in the C cycle:

Scripture: Lectionary # 12, Dec. 20, 4th Sunday of Advent (C). Micah 5:1-4.
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19. Hebrews 10: 5-10. Luke 1:39-45:

Micah is well known to us through the words from his sixth chapter: “You
have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you:
Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your
God.” (Micah 6:8). Micah is the sixth of the Minor Prohets and is a later
contemporary of Isaiah and Hosea. He is however from a lowly background and
thus fits well the origins of Jesus the Messiah born of Mary of Nazareth.
We have heard much from Isaiah throughout Advent, this will be the only
reading from Micah. It, however, has been noted in the Constitution on the
Church’s eighth chapter which is dedicated to the role of Mary in the
Church and in relationship to her son Jesus, the Christ.(Lumen Gentium #
55). The verse that helps us to reflect upon the birth of the Messiah is
“When she who is to give birth has borne, and the rest of the children of
his brethren, shall return to the children of Israel.” (Micah 5:2). In the
very first line we also have the mention of Bethlehem of Ephrata (the
origins of the Davidic family and where David himself reigned for thirteen
years). In Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus it will be that he is
born there in the home of Joseph.  As we have seen before the Magi will
come and worship the newborn king there when the find the child with his
mother Mary– a perfect foundation verse for Marian theology.  All of what
Micah is saying has been confirmed by the more royal prophet Isaiah whose
prophecy about the Messiah is the issuing of that Anointed One from the
shoot out of the stock of Jesse. (Isaiah 11).

Our Responsorial Psalm shows the expectancy and longing for seeing God and
we are led to see the face of God in the birth of Jesus. We thus pray in
responding to the word of God, “Lord, make us turn to you, let us see your
face and we shall be saved.”

In reflecting on the reading from Hebrews we see that Mary has also
responded to the Lord and says through her acceptance of Gabriel’s words
the will of God.  Thus we see in the words an echo of her “yes.”  She too
is saying, “I have come to do your will, O God.”

All of this is confirmed by her journey made with haste to her cousin
Elizabeth.  This is an excellent reflection for Advent because it is so
tender, so hopeful and so filled with love.  Elizabeth enables us to praise
the blessedness of the mother of the Messiah by her praise of Mary,
“Blessed are you who trusted that the Lord’s words to you would be
fulfilled.”  One scholar notes that Elizabeth is thus the first theologian
of the New Testament.  His Marianist Congregation also has a listing of the
effect of the second joyous mystery of the rosary- the Visitation– as love
of one’s neighbor.  We all can thus practice this mystery in our journey of
faith by being attentive to the practice of actually loving our neighbors.
Amen.

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