Unexpected and Mysterious

Fourth Sunday of Advent
Week of Sunday, December 23, 2018

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Cradle and cross are inextricably connected on the fourth Sunday of Advent. Between a lovely tribute to the little town of Bethlehem and the blessed virgin Mary’s magnificent song of praise, the letter to the Hebrews reminds us in no uncertain terms that Christ’s advent is for “the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” It is the kind of tension in which the church always lives as when in the holy communion—with high delight—“we proclaim the Lord’s death.”

Readings and Psalms
Micah 5:2-5a
From Bethlehem comes a ruler
Luke 1:46b-55
You, Lord, have lifted up the lowly. (Lk. 1:52)
Psalm 80:1-7 (alternate)
Let your face shine upon us, and we shall be saved. (Ps. 80:7)
Hebrews 10:5-10
I have come to do your will
Luke 1:39-45 [46-55]
Blessed are you among women / My soul magnifies the Lord