Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24, 2017
You are in on the greatest secret of all time! A mystery hidden for many ages! What is this secret, this mystery? According to St. Paul, writing to the Romans in today’s second reading, it’s the gospel Paul preaches, the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The Romans, along with Paul’s Jewish kinfolk and the rest of the world, are now in on this revelation—as we are today. Our other two readings, spanning the Old and New Testaments, give us that revelation, as God first makes a promise, then fulfills it.
From the Hebrew Scriptures, we hear the promise made by God to King David. With one of the Bible’s great puns, God takes David’s offer to build an earthly “house”–a temple for God to live in– and turns it around. God instead, will build a “house” for David–a family dynasty which will last forever.
The promise comes true in the Gospel story of the Annunciation. The child who will be born of Mary of Nazareth will be the heir of David. In Jesus Christ the “house” of David continues, and God will dwell forever with the human family. We twenty-first century Christians are so often caught up in our contemporary reality, and the very real and often-troubling history unfolding around us, that we can forget that God has intervened in that history. Let’s allow that staggering revelation to catch us up and give us hope.