Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 18 December 2022
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Isa. 7:10-14; Ps. 24:1-2,3-4ab,5-6; Rom. 1:1-7; Matt. 1:18-24
One week before Christmas, let us focus on preparing ourselves: beyond creating beautiful decorations, making nice clothes, and preparing the magnificent ceremony. We are invited to confirm that “the Lord is willing to be close to us by getting into the flesh and blood”. We welcome Him with a REAL FAITH, that includes blood and flesh, word and deed, individually and collectively.
FIRST READING: Isa. 7:10-14 presents to the Israel people of how important REAL FAITH is, it is not a mere symbol. The children of Abraham-Isaac-Jacob have their faith raised, that God’s Covenant Salvation since the Book of Genesis, will be carried out through the Woman and His Son. It means salvation is not just a theory, yet it is a concrete mystery, in the form of humans; the real Messenger. Hence, Christmas is not a mere theory, but it is a memory of the reality of salvation through Flesh and Blood, born by the senses and among ordinary humans.
SECOND READING: Rom. 1:1-7 affirms the faith of the Early Church, through Paul, that Christ is a real human being, who is given the devotion of REAL FAITH by the disciples, in the form of blood and flesh. Living together with faithful people anywhere and anytime could bring REAL FAITH, this is not a fantasy nor a theory. For this reason, the beauty of art is often used to show that we really need to welcome the mystery of the Incarnation with our entire senses.
Reflection for us: Does Christmas open the eye of our hearts?
GOSPEL READING: Matt. 1:18-24: The reading that presents Mary saying “yes” to be the Mother of the Redeemer, at the same time Joseph humbly received the message to serve the Nazarene Family, so that through Joseph, the son of David, Mary’s Child was truly accepted by the people as the Son of David”, at the time He was ready to be exposed to the society. And then the Son will truly present Himself among His people.
Reflection for us: Are we ready to welcome the Son, with all forms of art and beauty of the ritual, as well as with REAL FAITH, that open our heart for the Trinity?
(RP. B.S. Mardiatmadja, SJ – Lecturer of STF Driyarkara)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:
For the purpose of Universal Churches: Volunteers of the Non-Governmental Organization
We pray that the non-governmental organizations committed to human development may find individuals who are dedicated to social welfare and relentlessly endeavor to build international cooperation.
For the purpose of Indonesian Churches: Cultivating the moderate moderate
We pray that the Church could build and foster the attitude of being moderate and tolerant to her people, while keep being alert to the threat of fundamentalism and radicalism from both outside and inside of the Church.