Home » Advent Greetings – 20th December 2020

Advent Greetings – 20th December 2020

Dear sisters and brothers,

Have you ever had great plans that, for some reason, ended up coming to nothing?  Poor King David! In this Sunday’s first reading, that’s exactly what happens to him.  He’s finally established on the throne of Israel after many years of conflict, he’s conquered Jerusalem to make it his capital and he’s living in a lovely palace overlooking the whole of the city.  From this highpoint of his life, in his faithfulness to God, he recognises that he should give the Lord greater honour than himself and decides to build God a temple.  However, when he shares his plans with the prophet Nathan he is told: “are you the man to build me a house to dwell in?” His plans are undermined by the Lord, who has his own, bigger plans.  And David is obedient!

So, what are God’s bigger plans.  God says to David, through Nathan:

“The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House…Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’

Rather than David building him a house, God says that he will build David’s house, David’s kingly descendants.  David’s son, Solomon, would go on to build the temple, but in reality the Lord built his own house some one thousand years later when he created our Lady, free from original sin, to become the living house where Jesus dwelt for the first nine months of his life, from conception to birth, from the Annunciation to Christmas.  And God built David’s house, David’s kingly line, so that into that family line Jesus would be born, the King above all kings.

In these last eight days before Christmas, we turn our gaze specifically towards that great feast, and recognise how Mary’s ‘yes’, that we hear about today, enabled David’s vision to be fulfilled.  Jesus Christ, God made man, the King of all creation, took up residence in Mary’s womb, in order to be revealed to the world at his birth.  He came in vulnerability and humility as that baby born in a cowshed, recognised only by the poor, simple shepherds and strangers from faraway lands, not by the people of his own faith and nation.

And the throne of this greatest of kings would ultimately prove to be a Cross, revealing once and for all that love expressed in the same vulnerability and humility as his birth, is the way to honour his kingship and to reign with him as he invites us to…as he takes residence in us, as we become the house that he dwells in and as he builds us into his kingly descendents through our Baptisms and in every occasion on which we are able to receive the Eucharist.

This “Good News” is so wonderful and joyous that angels announced it at Jesus’ birth and St Paul wrote, as we hear today, of the need to “preach…proclaim…broadcast” it to the whole world.  So, let us prepare to do that as we joyfully look ahead to Christmas in just a few days’ time.  To see God becoming man and saving humanity through his death and resurrection as the best, most joyful news ever, and to seek to build ourselves into a house that he can dwell in and to say ‘yes’, as Mary did, each and every day of our lives.

With every blessing,

Simon