Fourth Sunday of Advent
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
2nd Samuel 7:1-11,16
Luke 1 26-38
This is the last Sunday in the Season of Advent and today we take a moment to look at a young girl named Mary. You all know the story, an angel of the Lord appeared to Mary with the words that no unmarried girl would ever want to hear, “you’re about to become pregnant.” The angel had told Mary that he was from God and she had been chosen to give birth to the Son of God. The angel had begun his message by telling Mary “not to be afraid.” He explained, to the best of his ability, what was about to take place. And while I truly doubt that Mary understood all that she was being told, she acknowledged to her credit that she was God’s servant and she would obey his will.
The Canticle that we read this morning in the place of a Psalm is an expression of the joy that Mary felt in her heart. Mary’s willingness to be God’s handmaiden provided a means of bringing the Savior of all people into the world.
Our lesson as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ later this week is to understand that we too have been called by God for a special task in the world. We are reminded by God, “not to be afraid” and to be willing to follow God’s plan for our individual lives.
You and I are living between the first Advent, the birth of Christ, and the second Advent when Jesus will come again in order to gather all those who believe in Him to himself where we will share in the glory that he has prepared for all of God’s children.
I invite you to join us on Christmas eve as we celebrate the birth of Christ and hear the 12 Words of Christmas and acknowledge that God is good…all the time.
An Act of Spiritual Communion
“My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the holy sacrament of your body and blood. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot at this time receive you sacramentally, I invite you to come spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were here with me and I unite myself with you fully. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen
A Prayer for the Church and Benediction:
Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers this parish family. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent. Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.