Here we are: the Fourth Sunday of Advent. For weeks now, we have been hearing prophesies of Israel’s salvation from Jeremiah, Baruch, Zephaniah, and today Micah. However, at the time, Israel was in the midst of being conquered with its people being scattered across the Middle East. All the people of the once-great nation of Israel knew was military siege, political unrest, deportation, imprisonment, despair, defeat, and death. Most people must have thought their God had abandoned them.
Against this backdrop of misery, these prophets were telling the exiles about the eventual restoration of Israel under an eternal dynasty from the line of King David, that God would renew them through a mighty savior and ruler who would come from Bethlehem – the City of David. Imagine the longing of the Israelites to believe these things that must have sounded too impossible to believe.
Yikes, where’s the joy in that? And, what does this have to do with the Visitation? What does any of this have to do with us today?
Listen to the full homily: