Pastors Desk: Fourth Sunday of Advent/B

Posted 19th December 2020 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 20th December 2020 - Fourth Sunday of Advent/B

xmas-tree2All our readings today focus on the circumstances leading up to the first coming of Jesus. They also tell us that God’s preparation though history for the coming of Jesus was full of surprises. Beginning with our first reading of God’s promise to David that he would have a never-ending line of royal descendants which is also recalled in the psalm today. Saint Paul in our second reading surprises us with his proclamation of God’s plan for human salvation through Jesus whom he describes as ‘the revelation of a mystery kept secret for endless ages…’

In our gospel today, the Angel Gabriel surprises Mary with several announcements including the fact that the child she would bear would not only be a distant grandson of David, but also God’s own son.

All this revelation must have proved very confusing or disturbing to Mary and yet her response in Faith was ‘let what you have said be done to me’. She agrees to carry out the Word Gabriel has addressed to her. Her openness to God’s plans in her life is an inspiration to us all. We need a courageous and generous Yes to God, like Mary.

Since March we have endured significant changes to our world. The COVID-19 has had a profound effect on how we gather as families, socialise, celebrate the sacraments, the eucharist, funerals etc. On Wednesday 16th we distributed tickets for Masses over Christmas. I think it is fair to say that is something none of us could ever have imagined happening in our lifetime.

holly3You may have changed your normal arrangements for gathering over Christmas and Saint Stephen’s day. Maybe family are not travelling home to Ireland for various reasons. All of this can perhaps make us feel sad or disappointed, which of course is natural. But while it may not be the ‘usual’ Christmas, let us not forget that we are still celebrating the Birth of the Infant Jesus and the profound meaning it has for us as Christians.

As this is the last Pastor’s Desk of 2020 I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, encouragement, and prayers throughout the year.

May we never lose sight of the fact, Emmanuel… God is with us. Always!

Fr. Gerry