Weekly Missionary Reflection
4th Week of Advent, 20 December 2020
2Sam. 7:1-5,8b-12,14a,16; Ps. 89:2-3,4-5,27,29; Rom. 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38
During Advent time, we talk a lot about two protagonists: John the Baptist and Mary, the Predecessor and the Mother. First about John being conceived by a barren mother, then followed by the story of Jesus Christ being conceived by a virgin mother. One is conceived humanly despite of aged father. Another is conceived divinely, without participation of a man. Both affirm God’s initiative and work. But God’s work is much greater and unique about Jesus. He is the Son of God and the Savior King! Thus, the evangelists focus on theology, not biology, as many of today’s readers prefer.
Jesus is “the Son of the Most High”: a title for God rooted in the tradition of the Israelites. This statement is affirmed twice (vv. 32 and 35) in order to declare that Jesus is more powerful than any other rulers. August the Emperor and Alexander the Great also have the title of “Son of God.” Both are also divinely conceived, because their mother is said to have been misteriously impregnated by a deity. Jesus far exceeds these great rulers. He is conceived by a virgin without contact with a human or deity. The mother remains virgin: before, during and after conceiving Him! So again, the Son’s greatness is the focus. The theology about the Son is the concern, not the biological details of the mother.
As in the beginning God creates the man on the sixth day, now God Himself becomes a man in the sixth month (v. 26). His creative power in the world now works through a woman. God loves to make a surprise: He doesn’t choose a queen or princess in the capital city. Instead, He chooses a villager girl. As usual, God works outside the human’s scheme and calculations. At the beginning of Creation (Gen. 1: 2), the power of God’s Spirit initiates His work of creation in the womb of a “virgin” mother-earth, so is today: God initiates a new and definitive creation in the womb of Mary, the virgin mother. Not only that! God also “overshadows” Mary with His Spirit (v. 35): today He is newly and definitively present in this world, as in the past when He was present in the midst of His people beneath the cloud upon the Tent of Meeting (Exo. 40:35).
The greatness of the Son is directly related to His mother’s distinction. No human being has such privilege as she has. Hence, she worths to receive Gabriel’s greeting with “Rejoice…!” (v. 28). To translate this word with “greeting” may be too light compared to “rejoice”. Mary indeed worths to rejoice for she receives the infinite and unrepeatable grace from God, that is: conceiving and giving birth to a King who will rule forever. This definitely fulfills the prophecy of the prophet Nathan (2Sam. 7: 13-16). But now there will be no more succession, for the new King will rule eternally. Mary, hence, will be the the model for you and me. Let us welcome the Baby Jesus with Mary’s way: answer “Yes” to God’s offer of love, make His Words become “flesh” (realized in the real life) and “give birth” to the Child in a our daily concrete attitude and action!
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
The life of prayer: May our personal relationship with Jesus Christ be enriched by the word of God and life of prayer. We pray …
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Be cautious of consumerism: May Catholic families be encouraged to limiting their consumption to the needed things indeed in order to be willing to share part of their properties to those who are more in need. We pray …
We join ourselves with the Holy Family of Nazareth to achieve the justice with The Friend, Jesus Christ, our Lord. We pray …