20th December 2020



Reading 1: 2 Sam 7:1-5,8-12,14,16 We read how King David had hoped to build a house (a temple) for God. But he is informed that it is God who will build a house (a dynasty) for him.

Reading 2: Romans 16:25-27 God’s plan of salvation for Jews and Gentiles has come to fulfilment in Christ. The good news must be broadcast everywhere.

Gospel: Lk 1:26-38 Mary gives her consent to become the mother of the Redeemer, though she does not fully understand what is being asked of her.

Through the readings of today, we are invited to reflect on the theme of Jesus as the true Messiah. We are aware of the fact that the Jews from their Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) had this conception of the Messiah – that he was to come from the Davidic line and would deliver them from their bondage. We see the prophets foretelling about him time and again. And then in the New Testament we find that this promise of the Messiah is fulfilled in the person of Jesus.

From its Hebrew meaning, “Mashiach” means ‘the anointed one of the Lord’. They conceived that this anointed one would have, in addition, the following attributes: as given in the first reading, the messiah was qualified as the servant of the Lord, the one responsible to build the house for the Lord, and would destroy the enemies of the Israelites. Above all he would be called the son of God Most High, and his kingdom would last forever. Accordingly, King Solomon, the son of David and his successor, was considered as the messiah of the Israelites as he fit some of the attributes mentioned. However, in him the people were burdened, the Temple which he built was later destroyed along with the kingdom, and the people were eventually taken into exile. Thus, they waited for another Messiah.

Though King Solomon was in some ways a messiah, the prophecies reach their fullness in Jesus as we see in the message of the angel to Mary. We Christians recognize this truth, that in Jesus, we have the eternal Temple and that he is the son of God – the only begotten of the Father, who has delivered us from eternal condemnation by his death and resurrection, and has bestowed us with the freedom of adopted children of God. Thus, Jesus is the only true Messiah, the fulfilment and culmination of all what was prophesied.

Despite being blessed with the knowledge of this truth of Christ’s identity, often, we are hesitant to put our trust in him, preferring to rely instead on other powers, passions and possessions, propagated and praised by the world, based on materialism, sensuality and the desire for autonomy and authority. With a materialistic mentality, our actions and energies tend to be directed towards seeking for security and stability through possessions.

How many prefer to place their hope on the amount of money they earn rather than on Christ! Consequently, their human freedom and identity rely on the number and measure of their possessions. With such a mentality, one exchanges freedom enjoyed in Christ, for enslavement to the world, its standards and its goods.

Those inclined towards the pleasures of sensuality, enslave themselves to their unending yearnings and insatiable passions. They gradually end up seeking for the meaning of life in the fulfilment of their sexual urges and desires. How very saddening that the porn industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world! A clear sign of the millions that are drawn into this enslavement of the flesh, often with neither the will-power nor the desire to be set free.

Then there are those, who push God aside, because they wish to be in control; control, not only of their own lives but that of others as well. This thirst for power, for positions, for a status and a standing, pushes them into a life blown about by the winds of ambition and tossed around by the waves of competition. In the bargain, they not only destroy their own peace, but that of others as well.

Today’s world needs deliverance from all such kinds of slavery. And we Christians need to be heralds, messengers, and witnesses, to the peace and freedom of Christ. For this, we need to attach ourselves to the Messiah, to follow him in his footsteps, to sit by his feet listening to his word. Let us pray for the virtue of humility, that like the Blessed Virgin Mary we too may allow God to act within us as he wills, and transform our lives.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 89:2-5,27,29 will sing forever of your mercies, O Lord

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