The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

Sunday, December 21, 2008

There can be a natural human tendency to believe that we can achieve anything through our own efforts. As we approach the final straight of Advent, with Christmas in our sights, we may feel that we can pat ourselves on the back and say to God: “Haven’t I done well over Advent”. In many ways King David, with good intentions, has a similar attitude. He believes that, with his power and position, he can now prepare a suitable dwelling for God. God, however, tells David, through the prophet Nathan, that his journey from shepherd-boy to victorious King is only through the action and participation of God in his life. God inverts the offer of David and declares that the Lord will make him a house, meaning not simply a dwelling place but a great dynasty.

This truly great dynasty is established in the creation of a suitable dwelling place for the Lord: Our Lady, Theotokos, the God-bearer. Through her Immaculate Conception she has been prepared for the acceptance of her task, God’s greatest intervention is fulfilled, 'let what you have said be done to me', and God becomes man.

Let us follow the example of the Handmaid of the Lord and realise that everything we do is sustained and aided by God, without whom we have nothing, are nothing, and can do nothing. Let us pray that this Christmas we may be stripped of pride, allow ourselves to hear God’s voice, and respond in humility.

Mark Davoren


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