Fourth Sunday of Advent.

Fourth Sunday of Advent.

A Saviour!

We begin this week with the Visitation, where Mary and Elizabeth encounter each other and the Holy Spirit. Then we celebrate the great festival of Christmas, with angels, shepherds and inn keepers. Mary and Joseph present us with a child to come and adore. There is a great deal to ponder and treasure in our hearts, as Mary teaches us to do.

This week we will use the Gospels for Sunday and the four Masses of Christmas, perhaps allowing us to reflect more deeply on the celebration. Perhaps like Elizabeth we too might find new life jumping for joy within us as we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.



Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  (Luke 1:39-41)

  • Why do you think Mary went to visit Elizabeth?
  • Have you ever felt filled with the Holy Spirit?
  • Have you experienced the quickening of life within you?
  • Who is Lord inviting you to visit this week?



Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘The Virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel,’ a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord told him to do: he took his wife to his home and, though he had not had intercourse with her, she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus. (Matthew 1:22-25)

  • Reflect on the Holy Name of Jesus – God Saves.
  • Reflect on the name Emmanuel – God is with us.
  • Reflect on the obedience of Joseph.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about being with you.



While they were in Bethlehem the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn. (Luke 2:6-7)

  • Celebrate the children born into your life.
  • Looking at Mary in the crib what is she feeling?
  • What is the significance of the swaddling clothes?
  • Let the Lord remind you that he has come to be with you.



The Angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. (Luke 2:10-12)

  • What brings you joy in your life?
  • Look at the figures in the crib and ask what each is feeling.
  • Looking at the figure of the baby remind yourself he is your saviour.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about why he has come into your life.



They hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:16-19)

  • Share the astonishment of the shepherds.
  • Treasure with Mary all that has happened.
  • Ponder the message of God in a baby.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about the joy of Christmas.



In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing has its being but through him.  (John 1:1-2)

  • What was the beginning of your relationship with the Word?
  • Reflect that you exist through God bringing you to be.
  • Reflect on the place of the Word in your spiritual life.
  • What is the Lord trying to tell you today?



The Word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

  • Reflect on why the word ‘flesh’ is used, not just ‘human’.
  • When have seen the glory of the Lord?
  • What parts of your life need to be filled with grace and truth?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his glory all around you.

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