This can be listened to here Gate Pa – Year B 4 th Sunday of Advent, Readings: Psalm Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26 First Reading: 2 Sam 7:1-11, 16 Second Reading: Rom 16:25-27 Gospel: Luke 1:26-38 What I want to say: To explore Advent 4 as an opportunity to reflect on how Mary helps us into the mystery of the incarnation and our place in that mystery What I want to happen: People to reflect on the Mary’s of today and how we honour them The Sermon 1. Introduction: Traditionally Advent 4 is a time to honour Mary more than that it is an opportunity to reflect on how Mary helps us into the mystery of the incarnation and our place in that mystery which kind of begs 2 questions: - what does the incarnation mean for us - who is Mary for us. è Le
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The fourth Sunday in Advent is traditionally focuses on Mary. This week we are invited to reflect on how Mary helps us into the wonder and mystery of the incarnation, and our place in that mystery. Which begs the question – who is Mary for us? There are a number of ways we can answer that: Mary mother of God; Mary the fourth member of the Trinity (that one didn’t fly so well); Mary the eternal and blessed virgin; Mary the Theotokos (God bearer); Mary the humble, meek and obedient servant of God; or just Mary who happened to be Jesus’ mother but otherwise is not so important. Mary was a poor illiterate peasant girl who became the means of God’s good news. She gives us her song which declares God’s passion for all who are poor. How does Mary help open our eyes to the poor of today, including young girls and boys, women and men; who work to provide our Christmas cheer? How do we honour the Mary’s of today?
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We made it. Christmas is here. Whatever route you took – through the invitation of Advent to take time each day to prepare in peace, love, joy, hope; or the busy route and frantic finishing in time for holidays and preparation for the big day – we are here at last. What is Christmas for you – there are no right answers. For most it is a time to celebrate family, giving and generosity, kindness and peace. For others it is a hard time of sadness, loneliness, grief. For me it is all that and more. In Christmas we are invited to enter into the wonder and mystery of the incarnation – that God is among us. Franciscan priest Richard Rohr describes this as God's pre-emptive strike for love. Not a rescue mission. Not a response to anything humanity had done. But, as John Dunne Scotus says, the coming of God’s self in Christ in love as God's first self-giving thought. Christmas is a joyous shout of praise for God’s eternal faithfulness. It is knowing, despite the evidence, t