4th Week of Advent: Readings till Christmas

The Gospel of Luke is our main guide through the final days of Advent till the feast of  Christmas.  After the gospels (Matthew or Luke) present the genealogy of Jesus, (December 17) we read the angel’s announcement to Zechariah the priest about the birth of John the Baptist from Luke’s gospel. (Luke 1: 5-26. Monday

The angel announces to Mary that she will bring “the Son of God” into the world. (Luke 26-38. Tuesday)  

Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth to share this Good News. ( Luke 1:39-45. Wednesday)

Mary offers her prayer of thanksgiving to God, her magnificat. ( Luke 1:46-56. Thursday

Elizabeth gives birth to John, who will announce the coming of Jesus: (Luke 1:57-66.Friday)

Zechariah praises God’s compassion towards those who “dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” (Luke 1:67-79. Saturday)

December 25 Christmas. The evening readings for Christmas are:  

Isaiah 9: 1-6

Timothy 2:11-14

Luke 2:1-14, The story of the Birth of Jesus Christ

Old Testament readings add their voice to Luke’s account.  A number of stories, like the unpredictable births of Sampson and Samuel accompany the story of the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus. We’re reminded how unpredictable nature is. The prayers in Advent speak too of the gentle rain that makes the earth fertile and the numerous “miracles” found in the ordinary course of things. A sense of wonder prepares us for this wonder of God.

Ahaz, the consummate doubter and cold calculator is heard before we hear Luke’s stories of doubt and belief. He stands in contrast to Mary, who believes and accepts the angel’s promise. She wonders before this mystery of God. 

This week is our Christmas “novena” preparing for the mystery of Christmas.

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