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Sunday, December 18, 2005

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Romans 16:25-27
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Luke 1:26-38

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"man-ifested" (rm 16:26)

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you." —Luke 1:35

King David wanted to build a temple for God so the Lord could have a house on earth in which to dwell (2 Sm 7:2ff). God told King David that He never asked for a house on earth (2 Sm 7:7), and besides, no house or temple on earth could contain Him anyway (see 1 Kgs 8:27). In fact, the earth isn't big enough to hold even the books which would have to be written about the Lord (Jn 21:25), so how much less could the world, or any temple, contain the Lord Himself (2 Chr 2:5). The very universe itself isn't vast enough to contain the Lord (2 Chr 6:18).

How can it be (see Lk 1:34) then that the womb of a young teenage girl is big enough to contain the "Son of God"? (Lk 1:35) After centuries of waiting, God finally found a suitable dwelling place for Himself in the "Temple" of Mary's womb, "for nothing is impossible with God" (Lk 1:37).

We disciples of Jesus are Mary's children (Jn 19:27). Baptized into God's family, and as Mary's children, we are also chosen as "a dwelling place for God in the Spirit" (Eph 2:22). Not only does He dwell within us in the Spirit, Jesus literally dwells within us when we receive Him into our bodies in the Eucharist (see Jn 6:56). Jesus then lives in us (Jn 17:23). In our bodies, which are temples of God (see 1 Cor 6:19), the life of Jesus is made manifest to us, and then through us to the world (2 Cor 4:10-11, RNAB). "How can this be?" (Lk 1:34) "Nothing is impossible with God" (Lk 1:37).

Prayer:  Father, purify the temple of my life this Advent (Mt 21:12ff). May I be a worthy and pleasing dwelling place for You.

Promise:  "My mouth shall proclaim Your faithfulness." —Ps 89:2

Praise:  "O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, Who showed Yourself to Moses in the burning bush, Who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: Come, stretch out Your mighty hand to set us free."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 19, 2005

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