Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Dear All,

On this Fourth and last Sunday of Advent the prophet Micah in the First Reading, has been encouraging the people of Israel about their future. Micah, a contemporary of Isaiah, is believed to have been active between 740 and 700 BCE. The temple will be raised high on a mountain and all nations will see Israel as a holy nation. Israel is a small area and other clans and nations were much stronger at the time. Micah announces that from the little town of Bethlehem, the place of David, the great king who reined Judah and Israel from 1010–970 BCE, will come a special person to be the awaited-for great leader. This person will be of the line of David and as did David, this “one” will bring back all of Israel into the kingdom of Israel. From the smallest shall come forth the revelation of God’s greatness. This “one” shall bring unity peace within and among all nations. Micah’s prophesy that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem into the family descendant from King David, is one of the four dozens predictions about the Savior of Israel in the Old Testament. Several scholars have found biblical proof that Jesus, whose incarnate birthday we celebrate on Christmas in just five days, fulfilled al forty eight predictions. Interesting piece of trivia, isn’t it?

The Gospel account this week according to Luke is an intimate encounter between two pregnant women of faith. They both are moved to share their secrets. Mary had dream visit from an angel and trusts what she heard in her soul. Elizabeth hears Mary’s greeting at the entrance of the house of the priest Zechariah and trusts what she hears and feels within her body (“the infant –John the Baptist– leaped in her womb”). Elizabeth greets Mary with a tender benediction “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled”. Mary is pictured as having received a tremendous gift and promise. The first thing she is moved to do is to check it out with her older cousin whom she learned was pregnant too, after a long barren life. Elizabeth

reads the signs of the times, the “something more” than an ordinary human event -the stirring of the little John in her womb- and proclaims the blessedness that God has bestowed on Mary and the One she carries. So much preparation for the great Gift of God’s impregnating the womb of this world. The mystery of the Incarnation means that God has come to us according to what makes sense to our minds. Through our senses God has come to visit and stay. It does remain more than we can handle and yet God continues to give the Gift into our little hands, our little stables, our little mangers to hold and begin distributing. He came that we might have life and be freed to give it, and Him away in the life-long, life-giving visits we make in the lives of others.

On a very personal note, this week’s liturgical stories, their backgrounds and our very current family reality bring a number of elements together that just keep my head spinning. Our daughter, Astrid, who was born on a 24th of June (the birthday of John the Baptist) is in the final hours of a little boy leaping in her womb. She lives in Italy and right now is in a hospital in Ostia (Eastern municipality of Rome on the Tyrrhenian Sea Coast) waiting for her first born to come to this world. They will name him Samuele. The Prophet Samuel was the one who in 1010 BCE anointed the shepherd David to King of Israel. Please join us in prayer for Astrid and Samuele in this defining moment and for Simone, the father to-be. May this beautiful Italian family be blessed abundantly by our endless loving God.

The complete text of today’s Readings can be found at

With God’s Love and Blessings,


For a Print version (pdf file) go to


  1. Beautiful!
    My prayers are with you and Astrid and Samuele, God Bless!

  2. tendremos a Astrid y su familia en nuestras oraciones, que DIOS los bendiga