Gospel Reflection Dec 18 – Msgr. Hendricks
Sunday, December 18
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Mathew: 1: 18-24
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
As Advent draws to a close, we now reflect on the great mystery of the Incarnation. God has taken on human flesh in the person of Jesus, born of the Virgin.
The heroes of Advent have been varied and many, Zachariah and Elizabeth. John the Baptist, Mary and Joseph. Each had an encounter with God, and an encounter with the angel of God. Each had a choice to make to fulfill the plan of God for His people. Each one made the choice to do the will of God as opposed to their own will. That Choice has saved us.
As Christmas draws near, we are also asked to make many choices in our lives. The gospels and the Church guide us. The Spirit of God, the same Spirit that came upon Mary, will always be with us.
Today, in the gospel, Joseph protected Mary from the Jewish law and was stoned to death. He took her into his home without knowing the future, but he heard and listened to the angel. His story and journey with Mary and Jesus will be guided by his commitment to her and to the void of the angel.
Listen attentively this week to the gospels and to the inner voice of God who never deserts you.