Reflection: Fourth Sunday of Advent

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church



[1st Reading – 2Sam.7:1-5,8-11,16; Ps.88; 2nd Reading – Rom.16:25-27; Gospel – Lk.1:26-38]


One of the characteristics in today’s gospel, is the number of direct or indirect names that we have in it . We have:

– The Angel GABRIEL: the one sent by God

– GOD: also called LORD and THE MOST HIGH

– a town in GALILEE called NAZARETH:

– a man named JOSEPH [betrothed to Mary]: a descendant of the HOUSE OF DAVID

– a virgin named MARY [betrothed to Joseph]: who will CONCIEVE and BEAR Jesus. She is also called SO HIGHLY FAVOURED by GOD and she calls herself the HANDMAID OF THE LORD.

– a SON: who must be named JESUS, who will be GREAT, SON OF THE MOST HIGH, KING [the ‘throne’ of David], a descendant of DAVID, ETERNAL RULER [of the House of JACOB for ever], CHILD, HOLY, and also called SON OF GOD.

– the House of JACOB:


– kinswoman ELIZABETH: also called BARREN and who in her OLD AGE, CONCEIVED a son.

As one may notice, although the attention is on Mary and what happened to her, Jesus’ list is much longer. And it is not only the length that makes the difference. In Jesus’ names and titles we notice ‘old’ and ‘new’ ones. It seems that the angel of God had made a thorough research in the Old Testament to discover titles attributed to the one who was to come in the name of the Lord – The Messiah.

Added to these ‘Old’ titles we also find a new one, which will be used again later, in Jesus’ life… THE SON OF GOD.  Here we already find the mention of the title SON OF THE MOST HIGH. It is the title which Jesus himself used, but was very careful when he made use of it, telling his disciples not to tell anyone… until his resurrection had taken place. This son who Mary conceived through the words of the angel sent by God, is the same Christ, the SON OF the Living GOD, foretold already at the Annunciation.

“Lord, when Gabriel went to Mary to ask her if she was ready to collaborate with God in the History of Salvation, although she did not understand fully, she understood that she had to do your will, as Jesus himself told us to. Help us to learn from her what we can do to give our share in the Salvation of the world. Thank you Lord!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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