Since the 17th December, and including yesterday, the 4th Sunday of Advent, the Preface at Mass has spoken of how in Jesus the longed-for fulfilment of the promises of God have been achieved.
The twofold expectation of Christ
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.
For all the oracles of the prophets foretold him,
the Virgin Mother longed for him with love beyond all telling,
John the Baptist sang of his coming
and proclaimed his presence when he came.
It is by his gift that already we rejoice
at the mystery of his Nativity,
so that he may find us watchful in prayer
and exultant in his praise.
And so, with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominions,
and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,
we sing the hymn of your glory,
as without end we acclaim:
Holy, holy, holy…
As we prepare for the celebration of Christmas the memory of the ages long waiting for the coming of the Promised One can help us look beyond the preoccupations of here and now and recover a sense for the wonder of what is accomplished in Christ. It can also give us confidence for the work of living like Christ that is the privilege and the responsibility of the faithful of the Church.
Image is of stained glass window from the Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.