The true temple of God lies within all who follow the Lord
Reflections on the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (December 20, 2020): 2 SM 7:1-5,8-12,14,16; PS 89:2-3,4-5,27,29; ROM 16:25-27; LK 1:26-38
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
God prepared the world for the coming of His Son from before all the ages of the world, as we know them.
With only a few days to go before we revel in the birth of Jesus on Christmas day, this last Sunday of Advent urges us to contemplate all we have heard from Scripture during this time. The liturgical readings today start with an encounter between King David and the prophet Nathan. David wanted to build a temple to honor Almighty God and to house the Ark of the Covenant. But that night, Nathan hears God directing him otherwise. He reminds Nathan of all that He has done for the people of Israel and now He promises how much more He will give to David: “The Lord also reveals to you that He will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make His kingdom firm. I will be a father to Him, and He shall be a son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever” (2 Samuel 7:11-14, 16). The Messiah of the Jewish people – and all people – will come from the dynasty of King David.
And we know that this is exactly what happened. As we hear in St. Luke’s Gospel today, the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary who, through the power of the Holy Spirit would give birth to Jesus, the Christ. And her betrothed, Joseph of the house of David the King, would be the legal father of our Savior. God prepared the world for the coming of His Son from before all the ages of the world, as we know them. In His goodness and mercy God loves His people so much that He would never let evil have the final victory. Jesus’ human lineage was made up of men and women who were sometimes wise, sometimes foolish, sometimes holy, sometimes sinful, but always unique individuals. Our Redeemer is both human and divine. And, through His gift of the Incarnation, the sacrifice of His life, and His Resurrection from the dead, the true temple of God lies within all who follow Christ. God always offers us more than we could ever imagine.