The Fourth Sunday of Advent

The lectionary readings for the First Sunday of Advent are about the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. This event took place in the virginal womb of Mary.

The Doctrinal Homily Outline for these readings first considers Jesus Christ as Emmanuel, God being with us. Second is the doctrine of the Incarnation, that God became man. Third is a practical application: to make an act of faith in the Incarnation.

St. Matthew teaches that Isaiah’s ancient prophesy came true: a virgin would conceive and bear a son and call him Emmanuel, which means God is with us. It came true when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary conceived. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Son, took to himself a human body and human soul. This Divine Person united to himself a full human nature so that He could be close to us, save us from sin and death, and share his divine life with us.

So, there is no need to be afraid to draw close to God. How can we be afraid of a helpless baby, first unborn and then born?

Today we hear a great deal about how we, ourselves, can identify as . . . whatever. That is bizarre fantasy. A reality, however, is that God has identified himself with us. The Catechism puts it very well:

The Son of God . . . worked with human hands; he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin. (CCC 470)

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