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Reflection: 4th Sunday of Advent Dec 22, 2023

Fourth Sunday of Advent
Stella Maris reflection_4th Advent

Are you the one to build me a house?

Our first reading this week comes from the second book of Samuel, and there’s an amazing line that gives life to our Gospel and our lives. The prophet Nathan received a word from the Lord. God said this to Nathan that he might proclaim this to David, it reads, ‘Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in?’ The scriptures then go on to give an account of how the Lord had taken care of David and how his legacy would unfold. This legacy would include the coming of a King who will reign forever; Emmanuel, God-with-us.

 

We know that David built the Temple, the place where God dwelt. Generations later, the human who became like a Temple, Mary, said ‘yes’ to bearing the new presence of God in the world; Jesus.

 

In less than a couple of hours, we will celebrate Christmas. It’s so close that you need only flip the page and see. But with the arrival of Jesus at Christmas, we too are being asked ‘are you the one to build a house for me in your heart, life, relationships, struggles and despairs?’

 

Many a builder would know that it’s no easy task to build a house. You need to prepare the land, sort the plumbing, pour the concrete and put up the frame. After that, there’s many other steps that need to be adhered to before a building is complete. In a similar sense, building a place for the Lord in our hearts takes care and patience.

 

If we’re to invite Jesus to find a home in our heart, then we need to take the time to examine our hearts and make room. When we examine our hearts, perhaps we might find a love for money, sexual impurity, power or self-glorification. If this is the case, then we have to work to clear the land and uproot these weeds. The first step is to ask God for the grace to build this house. Maybe you feel as if there’s no desire in you to change, which means that we then have to ask the Lord for the desire to change and the courage act upon it. Once we’ve given our hearts to the Lord in faith we’re encouraged to attend the Sacrament of Penance which is the way to humility and purity, for it’s in the Confessing that we also seek Conversion from our sins. From there we begin to practice a way of life that reflects the residing presence.

 

This is just one way we can build a house for the Lord in our hearts. We’re not limited to one house in the heart, we can also form these houses in other parts of our lives. As we prepare for Christmas, may we respond like Mary and give ourselves over to God’s will upon our lives, that we may say in unison, ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord… let what you have said be done to me.’

 

Fr William Aupito Iuliano

 

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