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Dec 23, 2017 Written by  Rev. Fr. Paulino Twesigye Mondo

4th Sunday of Advent Year B 2017 Be the first to comment!

Maryangel

Theme: God Lives here

In many countries throughout the world the Christmas crib is on of the most recognizable symbols of the season. Mary, Joseph, shepherds, magi and farm animals cluster around a trough of hay within which an image of the baby Jesus is placed to mark yet another celebration of his birth. Children, having their first experience of the crib are apt to ask questions which cause adults to stop and think before attempting a response. One question in particular remains fresh in my memory. Where does Jesus live for the rest of the year?

First reading: 2Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16

In today’s first reading, several traditions have been drawn together to illustrate the fact that God’s presence cannot be confined in the trappings of human architecture, however majestic or impressive. Prophet Samuel makes his point by means of a conversation between God and David, mediated by Nathan. David wished to give a sense of security to his own reign by establishing a permanent residence for the ark that was virtually identified with God cf. Numbers 10:35-36. But David was to learn that it would not be him to localize the presence of God. God who had led Israelites to this point and had provided for there needs for centuries was not to be domesticated. Thus, it would be God and not David who would impart stability to their dynasty. David had succeeded in uniting the various factions among his people who ended up anointing him as their loyal leader. He further solidified his position by establishing them a capital in the former Jebusite city of Jerusalem where he brought the ark of God in grand procession “leaping and dancing before the Lord” 2 Samuel 6:14.

The ark was a small (3'9" X 2'3") chest made of acacia wood that contained the law tablets. It had led the people through the desert and carried around the walls of Jericho; it had imparted courage during tough battles as it accompanied military operations. When David brought it to the new capital, he intended it to function as proof of God’s protection for his dominion. David learnt that God alone would be the architect of his monarchy and the contractor for the temple. This narrative does not imply that God rejected the temple outright; it signifies that the future of Davidic line would rest more on the covenant entered into by God and them more than a stone building. This assurance that David’s authority will be secure comes in the declaration that God would build a dynasty instead of a house of everlasting proportions. In God’s declaration there is a recapitulation of all the promises to the patriarchs that God would be among them as deterrence from their enemies and an assurance of an everlasting reign. This same pledge became the source of a messianic hope that was renewed with the birth of each of David’s successors and finally fulfilled in Jesus. Therefore each Christmas we celebrate fulfills the promise that God still lives firm and forever in our midst.

Second reading: Romans 16:25-27

In anticipation of his first visit to the house Churches of Rome, Paul wrote a lengthy letter from Corinth called his testamentary, meaning the summery and essence of his beliefs on justification and the quality of life in the Spirit to which Christians are called because of their union with Christ in baptism. After this he laments that most of his Jewish contemporaries had not yet responded to the good news of salvation. With some remarks about his future plans including a trip to Jerusalem with money for the poor collected from various churches, he concludes with a personal greeting to those Paul knows in Rome cf. Romans 16:1-23.

Within this doxology, we discover the true perspective that God’s saving plan which had been hidden for ages can now be fully understood in light of Jesus. When the Word became flesh and lived among us, Jesus revealed the good news of salvation and became the key which unlocked and made sense of all the prophecies becoming the prism which reflects the brilliance of the mystery into understandable and livable truths. The parameters of the mystery now extend beyond Judaism. Because of Jesus’ advent, the mystery, as well as the writings of the prophets that announced it is no longer a special heritage of one people but of all peoples. No longer would it be gentile or Jew, slave or free, rich or poor but one in Jesus.

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

Today’s gospel can be equated to a greeting card about a birth announcement addressed to an expectant world. A son is to be born; his name shall be Jesus. But, unlike contemporary birth announcements, which usually detail only the physical particulars of weight, length of the child, the day and time of the birth, the news of Jesus’ birth is accompanied by an indication of his purpose and mission in life. In the greeting of the angel Gabriel, “Rejoice, O, highly favored, the Lord is with you” Luke 1:28 Luke signals to us that the era of the messiah is dawning. Prophet Zephaniah had extended a similar greeting to Israel, daughter of Zion, declaring, Yahweh, your king is in your midst cf. Zephaniah 3:14-17. By addressing Mary in this manner, the angel Gabriel was in effect declaring that the prophecies of old were being fulfilled.

Mary’s acceptance of the birth announcement, “I am the maidservant, let it be done to me as you say” Luke 1:38 casts her in the same light as that of the remnant who were the poor/ anawim of Israel whose lived their lives in total trust and dependence on God. Mary’s faith makes her realistic and appealing; the gospel tells us that she was “deeply troubled and wondered at the message revealed to her” 1:29. She questioned and at times did not understand but, all the same she trusted and pondered in her heart what her role was and the responsibility of her son in God’s saving plan. From the outset, the figure of Mary is a model disciple as one who hears the word of God and makes a conscious decision to live accordingly. Mary worked through the difficulties in her life; despite confusion and without fully comprehending all the ramifications, she remained committed to God’s plan of salvation in faith and outmost obedience. Because of this, she had the joy of knowing where God lives.

As the story of God’s relationship with humanity continues to be told, God’s presence is ever in search of a dwelling place. During the remaining days, we are encouraged to celebrate the fact that the un-confineable divine presence has chosen to dwell among us, indeed, to abide within us. Returning to that naive but profound question, where does Jesus live for the rest of the year? we have only to look to the faces to the right and left of us to find the answer. As symbolized by the holy crib, God has chosen to be borne within the human heart. As celebrate the privilege of being able to offer God a welcome and to be participants in God’s personal history of love, we need to beg him to transform our lives.

Application

In only a couple of days we are returning to this place to celebrate the mystery of God who has come to live among us. The song which will give the fullest expression to our celebration will be: Glory to God in the highest and on earth to people of good will! We have to start being that kind of people now by welcoming him to build his presence among us. His coming is making us a universal community with a privilege to know the personal history of God’s love, a mystery hidden for many ages; then we ought to start living and looking like a privileged people. Like Mary we have to allow God to chosen us so that we make him become present into human history in a remarkable way. God entering into it time and space through flesh and blood and that what we possess; my hope is that God will find us ready to welcome him.

122 Last modified on Saturday, 23 December 2017 13:24

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Sunday Masses

Luganda: 7:30 am.  English: 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 5;00 pm.

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About Our Church

Welcome to Our Lady of Africa Parish Mbuya. We are located near Bugolobi Township in Nakawa Division. It is about 5 kms from the City Centre of Kampala. Mbuya Catholic Parish is a vibrant and diverse community made up of people from different parts of Uganda. We welcome you warmly and joyfully.

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