DECEMBER 20, 2015 – FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT (Cycle C)

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DECEMBER 20, 2015 – FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT (Cycle C)

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His wordsREADINGS:   Micah 5: 1-4   /   Psalm 80: 2-3. 15-16. 10-19   /   Hebrews 10: 5-10   /    LUKE 1: 39-45

HIS WORD… and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN, AND BLESSED IS THE FRUIT OF YOUR WOMB… AND HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN TO ME, THAT THE MOTHER OF MY LORD SHOULD COME TO ME?”

my words… Today is the Fourth and Last Sunday of Advent and we are now lighting the Fourth Candle of our Advent Wreath signifying that Christmas is at hand. In fact, we are now on the fifth of our “Simbang Gabi” and “Misa de Gallo”. Today we reflect on the Second Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Visitation in the gospel of Luke. What is this mystery all about?

After the Mystery of the Annunciation, the First Joyful Mystery, Mary had to travel to the hill country of Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was six months pregnant of John the Baptist. And there happened the scenario of the Visitation: the meeting of six happy people in the world; Mary, Elizabeth, Zachariah, Joseph, and the two creatures in their respective wombs; John (6 months old) and Jesus (1 month old). And there happened also their mutual affirmations in their utter obedience to God’s will; Elizabeth affirming Mary to be “blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of her womb, Jesus” (Lk 1:42); and Mary affirming Elizabeth of the presence of John in her womb, “who leaped for utter joy” (Lk 1:41), feeling the presence of Jesus also in the womb of Mary. Despite the awkwardness of their respective human situations: Elizabeth getting pregnant in her old age; and Mary likewise getting pregnant when the betrothal stage was not yet over, and which was a violation of that law, they still felt the graciousness of God in their lives and families. Why? It is because they utterly OBEY God’s will in executing His divine plan in saving the whole wide world (www.com).

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Brothers and Sisters, we too should be OBEDIENT to God’s will in our lives for God always “works straight in crooked ways” or “writes straight in crooked lines.” He has His divine plan for each one of us and we need also to work for it so that this plan of God for us will become true and a reality in our lives. “Grace presupposes Nature” – and we need to work hard for it so that we may have divine graces in our lives. We Filipino people also believe that despite our human, social, political, and financial struggles in life, we always say: “saDiyosang AWA, sataoang GAWA”.

Why did Elizabeth address Mary as the “mother of my Lord”? In those times and in the Mediterranean culture, the “queens” in the palaces of Kings were not their wives (first ladies) because they had many wives. So the position was accorded to the mothers of the kings and they were addressed as “Mother of My Lord”. And Elizabeth inspired by the Holy Spirit called and addressed Mary as the “Mother of My Lord” (Lk 1:43), feeling that the child in her womb will become a “King of the Whole World”.

Brothers and Sisters, it is Christmas time already! May we have the graces of the season accorded to us by Jesus Himself together with His mother, the Mother of our Lord.

A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL…  AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR 2016… (By Fr. Julius C. Lupot)

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