Fourth Sunday in Advent 2019

“you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High”

In the Homily given at Holy Mass last Thursday, we recalled that the incarnation of the Son of God, which we celebrate at Christmas, first of all it communicates God’s passion for human history; God saves us in history, not preparing salvation  in a laboratory which means, that He walks the road with us and makes use of our life to construct history. The feelings of discouragement, to the intervals of excessive modesty or lamentable attitude of believers, we recall the closeness of a God who lowers Himself, trusts us, needs our collaboration and even our mistakes and, therefore, He involves us in the history of salvation as responsible protagonists and not as passive recipients.

This reality is beautifully symbolised for us by Mary’s life and faith. This fourth Sunday of Advent closes the path of preparation for the coming of the Lord, introducing us to the intrepid faith of His Mother, His smallness which nevertheless opens up to the speculation of God and allows for the dream of a liberated humanity that the Father intends to accomplish by sending His Son into our midst. Of Mary, of His listening, of His generous availability and His “fiat”, God made use to build a new history, to begin “the new heavens and the new lands”, writing the word of “salvation” upon the existence of men!

Leafing through the Liturgy of the Word, starting at the Second Book of Samuel, we could say that God, in His love, chose to build His house among us, to plant His tent, stooping down to accompany us. But first of all, He needs a “home” to become a hospitable temple for His coming and finds it in Mary Most Holy. To the prophet David, who intends to build a great temple to “house” the Ark of the Covenant, God calls to mind through the prophet that: “the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.”  This is the wonderful “exchange” of logic that works within God: it is not we, primarily, who have to do something for Him but it is He who leans down to our humanity to transform it. It is God who makes us a welcoming home, a refuge and a consolation, a shelter and a rest.

If this project of love takes place thanks to Mary’s yes, then she is home, she is the ark, she is a temple, she is a welcoming space for the Messiah who is born. She welcomes Him to present Him to the world and, thus, becomes the dawn of hope for humanity and contributor to the history that God wants to build. It is therefore important to grasp the reference to Christ within this Gospel passage and how the Mother is great precisely because she shifts the attention to the Son, makes us fix our gaze on Him, she refers us to Him. The Gospel of the Annunciation, therefore A few days before Christmas, He intends first of all to make it clear to Mary and to us, who really about to be born and who He is: “you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High”. The Son to be born is the Son of God, he is the heir of king David – to whom for this reason God had said “the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house” – it is God who will reign forever, fulfilling the promises of justice, of peace and salvation for all of humanity.

Finally, of the Annunciation to Mary we can also highlight the style of God: He comes to any place, in the ordinariness of the life, to an ordinary girl. God is always at the centre of our daily life, in the outermost fringes and the most unassuming, with small and silent gestures. It does not only touch us during the solemn liturgies or powerful professions but, with the Father’s love, it also touches upon every aspect of our daily lives, during our burdensome intermittent routines, in our daily sobriety. And to decisively pronounce a magnanimous “yes”, like that of Mary, thus permitting our transformation of life upon us and the world.

We are few days from Christmas, le us pledge to not allow ourselves to be distracted by the noise and by shimmering lights, let us learn from Mary. From her we learn faith, which offers us a collaboration with God’s story of our history, focusing not only on our limitations and our errors but, trusting instead, in His action which can do great things within us and that, in this manner, our history can help transform the world; we learn hospitality, which means ensuring that we become the house where God is born, to welcome Him in intimacy as well as in the countenances of our brothers, especially the poorest; we learn a love for daily life, which means searching for and finding the traces of God in every small thing, in small gestures, in remaining vigilant and paying attention to what happens within and around us. May Mary Most Holy enlighten us, guide us and fill our hearts with joy in expectation of the Lord who is coming.

From St. Mary’s Hermitage in Canterbury and the Hermits of St. Bruno – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

To formulate our Christmas wishes, this year we were inspired by several speeches that St. John Paul II said on the occasion of Christmas, during his pontificate: this to feel still alive his presence and implore his help and his blessing .

For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half 154531347714120038gone, your all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne, we have seen His glory, glory of the Only Begotten from the Father. Sing to the Lord, bless his name, announce his salvation day by day. (Antif.monast.)

Christ was born for us, come, let us adore Him! Together we come to you, on this solemn day, sweet Child of Bethlehem, that when you were born you hid your divinity to share our fragile human nature. Illuminated by faith We recognise you as the true God incarnate for our love. You are the only Redeemer of mankind! It is our faith, is the energy that allows us to live and hope.

The Mystery of the night of Bethlehem lasts without interval. It fills the history of the world and stops at the threshold of every human heart. It even stops upon your heart! It ranks us among the seekers of Light. Every man, and citizen of Bethlehem that evening, would have able to look at Joseph and Mary and say: there is no room, I can not welcome you. And every man of every epoch can sadly repeat and and say to the Word, who became flesh: I cannot welcome you there is no room, my heart is sodden with things.

154531347714120038

The feast of Christmas gives a Christian sense to the succession of events and human feelings, projects, hopes, and it allows us to trace in this rhythmic and apparently mechanical flow of time, not only the course of mankind’s tendency to peregrinate, but also the signs, the trials and appeals of Providence and divine Goodness.

Therefore, we can transform and debase Christmas as a reckless waste of time, effort and finances, an event that can easily be characterised as consumerism: Christmas is the feast of humility, of poverty, of divesting oneself, the labefaction of the Son of God, who comes to bless us with his infinite Love.

Christmas is the feast of mankind. Man is born. One of the billions of men who are born, are born and will be born on earth. Man, an element of great statistics. No coincidence that Jesus came into the world during the time of a census; when Tiberius Caesar Divi Augusti filius Augustus the Roman emperor wanted to count how many subjects where  within his empire. Man, the object of this calculation, considered under the category of quantity; one among billions. And at the same time, one, unique and unrepeatable. If we so solemnly celebrate the birth of Jesus, we do so to testify that every person is someone, unique and unrepeatable. If our human statistics, human cataloguing, human political, economic and social systems, these simple human probabilities cannot assure mankind that he can be born, exist and operate as unique and distinctive individuals, then all this is assured by God Himself. For Him and before Him, man is always unique and distinctive; someone who is eternally conceived and chosen; someone called and named by their rightful name. Thus the Child of Bethlehem comes to give us back our true identity and dignity as children of God.

original

Christmas is the feast for all the children of the world, of all, remembering that we are also the children of God, whom he loves unreservedly, for He sees is no difference in age, race, nationality, disability or ability, single or celibate, religious belief, gender or sexual orientation, language or origin. to Him we are just His children whom he Loves like any father. Christ was born in Bethlehem for the whole world without exception. Representing every individual person on or off this world (we have to consider those who work in space now). Together and with everyone He speaks of His first day on this earth; the first message of the Child of a poor Woman; of the Mother who, after the birth, “wrapped him in swaddling clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the Inn”.

*** These Words that are the fulfilment of Jesus Christ ***

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”

Today is the day of the Lord’s Christmas! The Father has given us his Son: for this ineffable gift we are full of joy.

Today, day of joy, the joyful proclamation of the birth of the Son of God resounds for the inhabitants of the whole world: Christmas is a mystery of grace to be contemplated; Christmas is an extraordinary event to share. The most beautiful gift is peace in the heart. Our wish for Christmas is that everyone can be happy today, tomorrow and always. Merry Christmas, may it be full of happiness and prosperity! Pass this happy festivity of the birth of our Lord in love and serenity.  We, The Hermits of Saint Bruno have been doing it for years now, whispering to everyone and to each of you from the cells of the Hermitage, our fraternal good wishes as we supplicate from the Son who is born, the most favoured blessings for each and every single human being in Anno Domini 2019.

– The Hermits of San Bruno, at St. Mary’s Hermitage nr. Canterbury in Kent –

Watch Live Stream of St. Peters Square

paralello