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Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year B

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Lectionary: 11
Read the Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

Gospel Summary
The angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will conceive and bear a son, and name him Jesus. Mary does not understand how this can be, and the angel explains that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and “the power of the Most High will overshadow [her].” Gabriel then tells Mary that Elizabeth, too, will bear a son, emphasizing that “nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary replies, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."

Reflection for Parents
As Christmas nears, what seems most impossible to you? Does it seem impossible that all the gifts will be bought, wrapped, and under the tree in time for Christmas morning? Does it seem impossible that you will have time to complete the preparations for and cooking of the Christmas meal? Does it seem impossible that family members will get along? Take time to talk to the Lord about these seeming impossibilities. Quietly repeat the promise of the angel Gabriel, “nothing will be impossible for God."

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
Continue the above reflection with your family members. Light the four candles of the Advent wreath and invite each family member to name something that seems impossible—perhaps a difficult task or deadline—that he or she must take care of by Christmas Day. Then pray together the words of the angel Gabriel; “Nothing will be impossible for God.” Support and encourage each other in the days between today and Christmas Day.

Discussion Starters

  1. If the angel Gabriel came to me and told me the things he told Mary, I would . . .
  2. Like Mary, I know the Lord is with me because . . .
  3. As Christmas nears, I . . .

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