Fourth Sunday in Advent - C - December 23, 2018
The holidays represent travel time for many families. They visit relatives simply because family is important. Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth long ago, simply because family was important. But, in their greeting, both realized another member of their family that was the cause and the goal of the visit, God himself.
FIRST READING Even in the midst of an invading army, Micah the prophet promised the people a Savior, one who would come from Bethlehem.
PSALM Psalm 80 was a desperate plea for restoration. Enemies were at the city walls, yet, the singer still put his trust in YHWH.
SECOND READING The author of Hebrews tried to answer the question: Why did Jesus come to earth? The answer was: to offer himself back up to the Father, among with us.
GOSPEL In the gospel of Luke, Mary traveled to visit her cousin, Elizabeth. Their meeting would be a revelation. God was acting in the world, in a new way, from an unexpected source.
DAILY READINGS Readings in Advent.
CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, tall but shy Antonio surprised everyone, including himself, as he won the spelling bee. Bethlehem, the small, shy hamlet, would surprise everyone as the birthplace of the most important person who would ever live. In the story for the gospel, small Sally intervened in a dispute and became the surprise leader at school. Mary became a surprise leader for a simple decision she made. Like Sally, she was the last who became the first.
CATECHISM LINK With Christmas approaching, we explore the subjects of the Incarnation and the Epiphany. We also discuss Mary as the Mother of God.
FAMILY ACTIVITY Say the prayer that is taken from this week’s gospel passages. As a family, honor the Mother of God with the Hail Mary.