Fourth Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 12 Go to Readings Here
Today we celebrate the fourth Sunday of advent, in which we are going to reflect on how God has been reminding his people in times by his prophets to prepare the way for the Messiah to come.
“Who is like Yahweh?” The meaning of the name of the Book
To understand the meaning of the words in the first reading from the Micah, we must know the background of this book.
The Book of Micah is a prophetic book in the Tanakh/Old Testament, and the sixth of the twelve Minor Prophets. It records the sayings of Micah, Mikayahu, meaning “Who is like Yahweh?”, an 8th century B.C. prophet from the village of Moresheth in Judah.
Book of Micah Gives us two key phrases to understand the nature of Yahweh, our God.
1. Micah 6:8 - “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require
of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
2. Micah 7:18 - “Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the
transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever,
because He delights in mercy.”
No one is like Yahweh
The concept of “who is like Yahweh” or the name “Yahweh” itself is referred in the bible and in the life of the people of Israel. The Bible describes Yahweh as the God who delivered Israel from Egypt and gave the Ten Commandments, and says that Yahweh revealed himself to Israel as the LORD who would not permit his people to make idols or worship other gods “I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, or My praise to idols.” Isaiah 42:8. Yahweh himself says there is no god apart from me.
The name “Yahweh” brings the idea of Majestic God who has created everything of this world. The book of Psalm praises God as Yahweh, and wants to emphasize that there is no God like Yahweh. “Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high,” Psalm 113:5. For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? Psalm 89:6
The book of Micah, when it refers “who is like Yahweh?”, it highlights there is no God in heaven and earth except the God Yahweh.
The book of Micah prophesies that God will rule the earth in peace.
In a prophetic method, the book of Micah foretold the coming of the messiah to rule the world in peace. We could reflect how the messiah has come in history as it was prophesied in the book of Micah before 800 years, and how he would come in our hearts spiritually today.
What we think least is best in the eyes of God
Spirituality is a language to experience the message of God. The knowledge of God is far beyond the knowledge of the world. What we think is best is least in the eyes of God and what we think least is best in the eyes of Him. “You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me.” The messiah was to born in the small clans of Judah. Bethlehem is a small town in Judah where God wanted to born. We cannot understand the plan of God, as Isaiah mentioned, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8 and at the same time God looks the hearts of the people and not the outside decorations. “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1Samuel 16:7
He Shall be peace
What is the meaning of Messiah? The meaning of the name Messiah is ‘Anointed‘ in the same way the meaning of the name Emmanuel is ‘God is with us‘. The work of God is to bring peace in the hearts of the people and thus in the places. If we reflect deeply this aspect, we could easily experience that wherever there is God, there is peace and wherever there is peace, there is God. God is peace. Whoever accept God, they will experience peace, for peace is freely given by God. “the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace”. Numbers 6:25-26. God is peace and whoever shares the same peace with one another is called the sons of God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Mathew 5:9
4 people meet together in Judah
As it is mentioned in the book of Micah, Judah would be the place of the birth of Messiah. In The same manner, in today’s gospel, Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah. Judah has become the meeting place of 4 people who were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Virgin Mary – “the Holy Spirit would come upon her” Luke 1:35
Child Jesus in her womb – “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.” Mathew 1:18
Elizabeth – “Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said,” Luke 1:41
Child John the Baptist in her womb – “for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.” Luke 1:15
Holy Spirit confirms that Mary is the Mother of God
In today’s Gospel passage we could also see , how the Holy Spirit confirms that Virgin Mary is the mother of God. “Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said… And how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? It is not just a mere statement of human, but it is the statement of the Holy Spirit that Mary is the Mother of the Lord, the Messiah and redeemer.
YOU’LL FIND JESUS THERE
“Tomorrow morning I’ll open up your heart” the surgeon said to the 8 year-old-boy.
“You’ll find Jesus there,” the boy said.
The surgeon continued, “I’ll open your heart and check the damage.”
“You’ll find Jesus there,” the boy said.
“When I see the damage, I will suture you back up and then think about the next step,” said the surgeon.
“You will find Jesus in my heart because my Sunday school teacher told me so. She said it says so in the Bible. Besides that, our Sunday school songs say He lives there,” said the boy.
The surgery took place the next day. After the surgery the surgeon began to make notes of what he found. In his mind there was no hope and no cure. The little boy would die within a matter of months.
The thought began to get to the doctor and all of a sudden the doctor shouted to God, “Why did you do this to the boy? Why can’t he live a normal life?”
God spoke to the surgeon’s heart and said, “The boy is a part of my flock and will always be a part of my flock. When he is with me there will be no more suffering and pain. He will have comfort and peace. One day his parents as well as you will join him and my flock will continue to grow.”
The next day the surgeon went to the boy’s room and sat down with the parents beside the bed.
In a moment or two, the boy opened his eyes and asked very quietly, “What did you find in my heart?”
With tears flowing down his cheeks, the surgeon said, “I found Jesus there.”
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