Fourth Sunday of Advent
“Within you is my true home “ Ps. 87:7
Reflecting on the Fourth Sunday of Advent’s readings of 2 Sam. 7:1-17 and Luke 1:26-38 we note how each text proclaims in its own way the life-changing Christmas good news, namely the Saviour is coming – David, Nathan, Gabriel knew it and of course Mary, in turn, knew it.
Whether it is David and Nathan or Gabriel and Mary in the background of the children Solomon and Jesus, the theme is the same: make a dwelling for the Saviour God in your heart, not in an external structure, for there is your true home.
King David living in a lavish palace decided that it was fitting for the Ark of the Covenant to be housed in a Temple. Through the intervening dream of Nathan, God revealed that he preferred to live like his people, moving from place to place in a tent. In addition, God promised to lead David to the true home – he would in time establish a house that would endure forever. God did not want a beautiful physical creation. God wanted inner beauty and a faithful heart from one called to care for God’s people.
This is home: not that we build a house for God but that he builds us a house; we build because God first built. Later on, we learn that Jesus, Son of David, is the lead builder who by the shedding of his blood for others builds a house in God’s name.
Likewise, Mary, the gentle maid of Nazareth, receives the revelation of God’s messenger inviting her to be a mother, to create a home for Jesus. Mary is astonished and afraid. She questions, but never loses faith. Her encounter is the first movement in an ever-widening circle that would carry God’s love to all everywhere. She accepted her role, despite initial reticence, with simplicity and humility, and celebrated the goodness of God.
God takes the conventional wisdom of humans and turns it upside down. It is God who builds and makes a divine home in us. God’s love endures from age to age. Forever is truly a divine Word. David, Nathan, Gabriel and Mary have the power to lead us further on our journey of faith this Christmas; we have only to bring an open mind and heart!
Am I building the house God wishes to be built? Am I open to God’s changes in my plans and build for him alone?
Sr. Gabriel Mary Riddle, CPS