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Posts Tagged ‘4th Sunday Advent Year C’

Download 4th Sunday Advent Yr C

Reflection Questions

  1. As Christmas arrives, special passages of scripture are used to guide our understanding of Christmas. This Sunday is the only time that the Prophet Micah is used for our Sunday Readings. A prophecy 700 years before Jesus points to the little town of Bethlehem, famous as it was the home of Jesse, King David’s Father. It was from this royal line the Messiah would arrive. Ephrathah was a little and insignificant ‘clan / tribe’. Consider for a moment just how extraordinary is God’s power to guide history and prophecy to fulfillment. How might this help you ‘trust’ in God?
  2. The Letter to the Hebrews teaches about the significance of Jesus. Holocausts, sin offerings and sacrifices were experiences of Jewish worship in the Temple that were to bring people into union with God ‘according to the law’. Jesus is shown as following the will of God and bringing forgiveness and union with God ‘through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all’ on the cross. Why Jesus has come among us is pointed out. Do you keep Christmas separated from Easter? Have you noticed cards and decorations easily identify with the joy of a new-born child and the hope of ‘peace’ but prefer to leave out the next step of the sacrifices involved in ‘I come to do your will, O God?’ What is the will of God inviting you to do?’
  3. This gospel scene of Mary ‘visiting’ Elizabeth aims to show us more than the greeting of two expectant mothers or that Mary is a caring young woman to her older cousin. Behind this scene are layers of stories. Mary, a ‘new mother’ (New testament) stands before Elizabeth an ‘old mother’ (Old Testament). Behind Elizabeth is her husband, Zechariah the High Priest of the (old) Temple. Within the Temple rests the ‘Ark of the Covenant’ where the 10 commandments were kept housed in a special box (Ark) called the ‘Mercy Seat’. Mary bears within her the Saviour child ‘God-is-with-us’ and is now the New Ark of the New Covenant. The little boy John the Baptist leaps for joy within the womb of Elizabeth like King David leapt for joy and danced before the Ark of the Covenant (2 Sam 6,14). The deepest and true response to God being ‘enfleshed’ among us is to ‘leap for joy’. When was the last time you ‘leapt for joy’? Why is little baby John ‘leaping for joy’? How could you show the experience of joy more this Christmas?
  4. The gospel of Luke focusses upon Mary who always acts on what she hears. Her ‘visit’ to Elizabeth is a ‘response’ to hearing God’s voice (through the angel). Mary is ‘blessed’ but firstly it is because she ‘believed what was spoken to her’. Christmas becomes no longer simply an historical story for us when we recognise we too are called to allow the ‘Word’ to become ‘Flesh’. Today. Now. In the world. What words have you heard from God, in prayer, through others. How could you act on them so that they become ‘flesh’? Real? Acted out? Bring God’s presence? What words or promises have you made that have not been fulfilled?
  5. Advent is a time of joyful preparation. In the final days before Christmas how could you achieve a balance: writing Christmas Cards and the Call to Conversion. Christmas Parties and Prayerful Preparation. Christmas Presents and Christmas Presence?
  6. What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?