Readings for Sunday, December 24 — The Fourth Sunday of Advent
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16; Psalm 89:2-5, 27-29; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38
Suggested Reflection Questions:
- Listen to the second reading from Paul to the Romans again, and this time, pick a phrase that stands out to you (e.g., “the revelation of the mystery kept secret”). Why does this phrase resonate with you? What is it about this language that is relevant to the season of Advent?
- In his book “Jesus: A Pilgrimage,” Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, contrasts the story of the angel visiting Mary to the angel visiting Zachariah, Elizabeth’s husband. Zachariah, most probably in disbelief that his barren wife could still conceive, questions the angel, upon hearing she will bear a son. For that, he is struck dumb. However, in the Gospel, when Mary asks “How can this be?” she is not. Why do you think that is? If helpful, go back and read the story of when the angel speaks to Zachariah (Luke 1:5-25).
- In this beloved Gospel story, we hear the phrase from the angel “for nothing will be for God.” Where in your own life have you seen impossibilities turn into possibilities? How did God play a role in that? What issues in your life or in our society do you feel seem impossible? Where do you ground your hope?