Sunday Reflection: 4th Sunday in Advent (Year B)


On this last Sunday in Advent, as we now prepare for the celebration of the birth of the Messiah, we are invited to meditate on Mary at the Annunciation. She is the one God invites to be the focus point of all the history of salvation. At this point, all the hopes of humanity rest on Mary.

In the first reading, King David wants to thank God for his faithfulness to him by building him a temple, a house where God can dwell. While God appreciates this act of gratitude, he promises David that it is not he who will be building a house of stone for a temple, but it will be God who will be building a house, a royal line, for David. In the gospel, the angel reminds Mary of this old prophecy. Jesus is the new king, the new anointed one, promised to the ages.

In the conclusion to his letter to the Romans, Paul recognises that Jesus is the fullness of God’s revelation. In Jesus, the Son of the Most High, the Son of God, God reveals himself to us in all his fullness. As the letter to the Hebrews reminds us, now God no longer speaks to us through messengers, but speaks his final word (cf. Heb 1:1-2).

This mystery rests on Mary at the moment of the Annunciation. Mary replies: “let what you have said be done to me.” May we too, like Mary, have the willingness to live God’s will in our life.

Further Reading:

In his sermons, Joseph De Piro has preached about the Annunciation to Mary. Today we propose a section from one of these homilies.

“We have come to the end of these fifteen Saturdays, during which we meditated on the great mysteries which the Church proposes to us faithful in the Holy Rosary. We have followed Our Lady from Nazareth to her Assumption into heaven. We have contemplated her as the humble one who listened to the angel who announced her becoming the mother of God. From there we met her full of zeal hurrying over the Hebron mountains carrying the joy to Elizabeth’s house….”


In these few words one notices:

  • De Piro refers to his preaching as a meditation; a contemplation.
  • For Mary her humility was a prerequisite to listen to and respond to the angel’s message.
  • De Piro speaks of ‘listening’ (ascoltare) not simply ‘hearing’ (udire) the message.
  • Mary’s response, action, apostolate and charity towards Elizabeth is a result of her listening and contemplation of the word at the annunciation.
  • De Piro emphasises that Mary went to Elizabeth ‘full of zeal.’ She did not wait around and take her time, but she hurried to Elizabeth’s house. Holiness requires us to do God’s will always, quickly and wholeheartedly!
  • Joy is contagious.