Day: December 18, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Advent

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Gospel Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 23rd 2012

Full scripture for this Sunday  is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.


Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy.

Luke 1:39-45


One of Mary’s first recorded journeys was after the announcement to her that she was to be the mother of God. It was a journey of service, a visit to her cousin who needed help. A time like pregnancy, bereavement, redundancy, a son in prison, a daughter on drugs….we want to talk, we want support.

Women Sharing Faith
They had something else to share – their faith. The prayers they said have been said ever since. The stage was small but the audience has been millions ever since. They were not shy of their faith in their God.

In a time like ours we need to externalise our faith. To go to church, send a card with a Christmas greeting not just a season’s wish, not to parade but make present our faith.

The meaning this week is – Jesus is born, and we celebrate that together. With thanks, music, socialising, prayer and Mass. We need to find God again, and let ourselves be open to him in the deepest areas of life, just like the husbands of both these women, Joseph and Zechariah, as well as their wives, were open to God.

Nothing need keep us from God or from the crib at Christmas. There is no door on the crib.  All are welcome. The real meaning of Christmas is to meet with God and to help our neighbour.

Come Lord Jesus and bring joy and laughter among us.
Come with the music of eternity and the songs of the earth.
Come among us and make us truly grateful for your birth and your love.

Donal Neary SJ