A Suitable Dwelling Place for the Lord

Fr Laurent reflects on the scriptures for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B).

Brethren, welcome to the Fourth Sunday of Advent!

On the 17th December, we began the second part of Advent. The first part of Advent focuses on the second coming of Christ in glory. In the second part, the mood lightens, we focus our minds on Christ’s birth and begin our joyful preparations for Christmas.

The main theme in our readings this Sunday is the “dwelling place of God”.

In the first reading, David expressed his heart’s desire to build a temple for the Lord, in which the precious Ark of the covenant would rest. However, God told him that instead, it would be his son who would build this temple.

As we near the celebration of the birth (Nativity) of the Lord, we come to realise that the real temple of God will be Mary, the virgin mother of God, who is honoured with the title, “Ark of the covenant”.

In the Gospel reading today, God sends the angel Gabriel to a virgin in a town in Galilee called Nazareth, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel Gabriel announced to her the good news; “Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you…. for you shall conceive the son of God!”

Mary became a suitable dwelling for the son of God, Christ our Lord.

Brethren, we are the temples of the Holy Spirit; are we conscious of this? Do we live our lives accordingly? Are we suitable dwelling places for the Lord?

Mother Church has given us these four weeks of Advent to prepare to welcome Christ. Are we truly prepared to welcome Him?  Are our hearts set to receive Him? Is preparing for Christmas a more material than spiritual task for me? Am I concerned more with trees and lights than with the birth of Christ?

There is something precious that God wants from each one of us this Christmas! He wants you and me to give Him our hearts, and He makes them his dwelling place.