Fourth Sunday of Advent
The focus of today’s liturgy is the Davidic covenant, the promise of a throne that will last forever. It appears in the First Reading, in the Responsorial Psalm, and in the Gospel, where the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that “the Lord God will give (her son) the throne of David his father.”
Jesus is to transform that covenant, revealing “the mystery hidden for many ages.” The throne in this new kingdom is to be occupied by “the Son of the Most High ... the Son of God.” Indeed, he is “Emmanuel,” God-with-us.
We are very close now to the coming of Christ. What would the world be like if we were to allow Christ to really come as king? What would a world ruled by Jesus Christ be like? Would we have the poverty and homelessness that we have now? Would we have the death penalty? Would there be abortion and child abuse and negligence of the elderly? Would Jesus Christ allow the people of his kingdom to kill each other in wars?
If only we could join in consenting to God’s rule as Mary did: “Let it be done to me as you say.” Who knows what joy the world would know!
The Church ... receives the mission to proclaim and to establish among all peoples the kingdom of Christ and of God. She becomes on earth the initial budding forth of that kingdom. While she slowly grows, the Church strains toward the consummation of the kingdom and, with all her strength, hopes and desires to be united in glory with her King.
Vatican II, Constitution on the Church (1964) 5