Promise and Fulfillment

Promise and Fulfillment

December 24, 2017 | N W | Advent, Comfort, Father Salvador, Generosity, Hope, Strength, Thanksgiving, Trust

Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24, 2017 – Year B
Readings: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16 / Ps 89 / Rom 16:25-27 / Lk 1:26-38
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

Thirty-two years ago, when I was preparing for my ordination to the priesthood, my bishop in the Philippines assigned me to a church with a very wise pastor who was asked to mentor newly ordained priests. His name was Father Douglas. He was named by his parents after General Douglas MacArthur who, even today, remains quite popular in the Philippines. When MacArthur left the country during the Japanese occupation of World War II, he promised to return. He did indeed return, and liberated the more than seven thousand islands of the Philippines from the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army. That was certainly a promise well kept.

Today’s readings tell us the good news that our God is a God who always keeps His promises. The first reading, which was taken from the Second Book of Samuel, shows us the Lord’s promise to King David: that he will raise up an heir after him who will make David’s kingdom endure forever. The gospel that we have just heard, taken from the First Chapter of St. Luke, is the fulfillment of that promise, when the angel Gabriel said to the Blessed Mother, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of David, His father, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Our Holy Mother Church has arranged the liturgical readings for us in such a way that the First Reading, usually taken from the Old Testament, tells us of God’s promise. And the gospel tells us the fulfillment of His promise. This is the good news we listen to every time we gather together to celebrate the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

God’s words in the sacred scriptures have a promise and an answer to every difficulty or challenge we face in life: When you need courage; when you feel defeated; when you need to make a decision; when you’re feeling lonely or left out; or you’re trying to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong; when you’re thinking about death; when you find it hard to believe; when you’re afraid; or when you feel alone. Our Lord promised to be there for us, as He said at the end of the Gospel of St. Matthew: He will be with us always, until the end of the age.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, when we celebrate Christmas, we are being reminded of the great news that our God is indeed a God who always keeps His promises.

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