4th Sunday of Advent, Year C

PAPAL MESSAGESTHIS WEEKMONTHLY INTENTIONS

Pope Francis

March 13, 2013 – Present

DECEMBER 23, 2018

Mary: Model of Faith and Charity

Mary is blessed because she believed: the encounter with God is the fruit of faith.

The liturgy of this Fourth Sunday of Advent focuses on the figure of Mary, the Virgin Mother, expecting the birth of Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Let us fix our gaze upon her, a model of faith and of charity; and we can ask ourselves: what were her thoughts in the months while she was expecting? The answer comes precisely from today’s Gospel passage, the narrative of Mary’s visit to her elderly relative Elizabeth (cf. Lk 1:39-45). The Angel Gabriel had revealed that Elizabeth was expecting a son and was already in her sixth month (cf. Lk 1:26, 36). So the Virgin, who had just conceived Jesus by the power of God, set out with haste for Nazareth, in Galilee, to reach the mountains of Judea, and visit her cousin.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

DECEMBER 20, 2015

Places of Astonishment

We cannot encounter Jesus, if we do not encounter him in others, in history and in the Church.

To celebrate Christmas in a fruitful manner, we are called to pause in “places” of astonishment. And what are these places of astonishment in everyday life? There are three.

  • The first place is the other, in whom we recognize a brother or sister, because since the birth of Jesus…
  • Another place of astonishment — the second place in which, if we look with faith, we actually feel astonishment, is history. So many times we think we see it the right way, and instead we risk reading it backwards. It happens, for example, when history seems…
  • The third place of astonishment is the Church. To look on her with the astonishment of faith means not limiting oneself to consider her only as a religious institution, which she is, but to feel her as a mother who, despite her blemishes…

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

homilies

4th Sunday of Advent, Year C

Pope Benedict XVI

April 19, 2005 – February 28, 2013

DECEMBER 16, 2012

The Fulfillment of the Expectation

The unborn John exults with joy before Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, who in her womb is carrying Jesus, the Son of God made man.

In the two women the fruit of their wombs, John and Christ, meet and recognize each other. The Christian poet Prudentius comments: “the child imprisoned in the aged womb greets by his mother’s lips his Lord, the maiden’s son” (Apotheosis, 590: pl 59, 970). John’s exultation in Elizabeth’s womb is a sign of the fulfillment of the expectation: God is about to visit his People. In the Annunciation the Archangel Gabriel spoke to Mary of Elizabeth’s pregnancy (cf. 1:36) as proof of God’s power; in spite of her old age her barren state was made fecund.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

DECEMBER 20, 2009

A Prophecy of Peace

There is a divine plan that apprehends and explains the times and places of the coming into the world of the Son of God.

Precisely this aspect of the prophecy, that of messianic peace, leads us naturally to emphasize that the city of Bethlehem is also a symbol of peace, in the Holy Land and in the world. Unfortunately, in our day, it does not represent an attained and stable peace, but rather a peace sought with effort and hope. Yet God is never resigned to this state of affairs, so that this year too, in Bethlehem and throughout the world, the mystery of Christmas will be renewed in the Church. A prophecy of peace for every person which obliges Christians to immerse themselves in the closures, tragedies, that are often unknown and hidden, and in the conflicts of the context in which they live, with the sentiments of Jesus so that they may become everywhere instruments and messengers of peace, to sow love where there is hatred, pardon where there is injury, joy where there is sadness and truth where there is error, according to the beautiful words of a well-known Franciscan prayer.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

DECEMBER 24, 2006

Eliminating the Differences that Divide Us

The birth of Christ helps us to become aware of the value of human life, the life of every human being, from the first instant to natural death.

The corresponding duty is to increasingly overcome preconceptions and prejudices, to break down barriers and eliminate the differences that divide us, or worse, that set individuals and peoples against one another, in order to build together a world of justice and peace. With these sentiments, dear brothers and sisters, let us live the last hours that separate us from Christmas, preparing ourselves spiritually to welcome the Child Jesus. In the heart of the night he will come for us. It is his desire, however, also to come in us, to dwell in the heart of every one of us.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

homilies

4th Sunday of Advent, Year C

Pope Saint John Paul II

October 16, 1978 – April 2, 2005

DECEMBER 14, 2003

Mystery of Jesus’ Birth

An unmistakable feature of Christian joy is that it can go hand in hand with suffering,,,

During the final days of Advent, the Liturgy puts particular emphasis on the figure of Mary. The beginning of the Incarnation of the Redeemer took place in her heart, from her “Here I am” full of faith, in reply to the divine call. If we wish to understand the genuine meaning of Christmas, we must look at her, call upon her. Mary, Mother par excellence, helps us to understand the key words of the mystery of the birth of her divine Son:  humility, silence, wonder, joy.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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The Homilies of Pope Francis (The Catholic Register)

Pope Francis Homilies

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