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First Reading: Samuel 7:1-5,8-12,14,16
Second Reading: Romans 16:25-27
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

​On this fourth Sunday of Advent, the liturgy focuses on Mary the mother of Jesus who is instrumental in preparing the way for Jesus to enter human history. In this Gospel, we are reminded how, through the message of an angel, God announced the birth of Jesus. It also illustrates how God can do what seems impossible through a woman called “barren” (Elizabeth) and a virgin (Mary) to open the path of salvation for us all.

 Even though we celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent, it is also Christmas Eve. Many people would say that the last week of Advent is one day long, and we do not have a full week to celebrate. With faith and obedience, we can still welcome Jesus into our lives. The incarnation is the mystery we celebrate at Christmas. God’s Son would be born as a human person, as one of us. Do we recognize God’s plan in our lives today? Are we open to cooperating with God’s presence in our lives?

 Mary’s “yes” to God is our hope. This opens us up to God’s actions in our lives. We believe that God wants peace for all people. This year, we can’t help but think of Bethlehem, Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, Russia, Haiti, Congo, and all parts of our world that are experiencing conflict. May God’s peace reign.

 Preparing for the Savior’s birth is the message of Advent. Are we ready to receive the Savior who comes to bring us new hope, new joy, and abundant peace?
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