Fourth Sunday of Advent
Second Reading:Romans 1: 1-7
The opening greeting from Paul to the Romans also sets out a history of Jesus. Although Matthew is writing with the benefit of hindsight - aware of the fact of the resurrection of Jesus - he does not make that fact part of his Infancy story.
St Paul is writing a letter - and wants to put his own mission into its proper context - as a continuation of the work of the prophets - but now the promises made to them have been fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Here, he crystallises what the early Church was beginning to understand about Jesus - that He was fully human and yet “in the order of the Spirit” - divine.
So, the One who was descended form David could also be the Son of God.
St Paul does not cite any works or even words of Jesus to back up this statement - but points his readers to the resurrection.
It is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead that allows us to proclaim Him Son of God.
It may seem strange to be looking ahead to Easter when we have not had Christmas yet - but the two feasts are inextricably linked.
The birth of Jesus is more than a celebration of the birth of a baby - it is the celebration of the coming of God into the world. There is a danger that the tendency to turn Christmas into “something for the children” can cause us to lose sight of the enormity of what the feast celebrates.
The world had waited for the coming of this Child - but His life only made sense when it had ended and He had been raised up to New Life. This was when all the prophecies and promises began to make sense in a way that those gazing into the crib could scarcely have believed possible..
Today, St Paul reminds us of the marvel God had worked for His people. Not only had He sent His Son into the world - to die there - and then to be revealed in glory through His resurrection - but He had also, through His Son called the Romans to belief in Him.
Through Christ, we are also called to faith and trust in God.
What does it mean for me?
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