Story Type: Advent
While each evangelist grappled with the question “Who is Jesus?,” the fourth Gospel did so in a fresh, unique way. John drew upon an independent tradition of Jesus’ actions and teachings that had apparently circulated for years.
Luke wants readers to know he’s a real person who collected written records that he has personally verified. He’s not writing his personal memoir, a fictional adventure novel, gossipy stories about Roman emperors, or transmitting messages from the gods as an oracle or seer. He intends to present an “orderly account” of what the community of faith already knows about Jesus of Nazareth. So the first question I can ask myself is, “Who am I, the reader? Where am I in my own spiritual life?”
The Gospel of Mark is more like a parable than a report: it is pithy and symbolic and challenging. It provokes engagement rather than offering pat conclusions. It begins with a “voice crying out in the wilderness,” and ends with silence fleeing the empty tomb. It is “a finger pointing to the moon” of God’s mystery in Jesus.
Matthew is writing for a Jewish audience. Jesus was born into a Jewish society that had a strong patriarchal nature. Surprisingly he included women in his genealogy. There are five women included in the lineage of Jesus, including Mary, the mother of Jesus. Women are often unnamed in the Scriptures; however, Mathew names three of them: Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth. The mother of Solomon, Bathsheba, is not named.
By Sister Helen Libo-on – In the Philippines, we have the tradition of praying the nine days of novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary before celebrating the Feast of the Nativity.
By Sister Diane Guerin — In Advent, we, too, wait in joyful hope. What is our expectation? Do we welcome Jesus as a Prophet of Nonviolence? How are we, who profess in our Critical Concern of nonviolence, challenged to live this commitment each day?
By Sister Edia “Tita” Lopez Garcia — Hope becomes genuine when Mercy is in action. “Hope is not naivete, nor a childish gaze unable to see the shortcomings of reality: it is a gaze that glimpses possibilities, not a tribute to the sun.”
By Sister Deb Troillett — “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”. As we wait and pray in joyful hope, Pope Francis tells us that hope is a gift particularly of the marginalized and the suffering, and an expectation that entails solidarity and accompaniment.
By Rowshan Nemazee, Mercy Associate — In times of need, as a mother, Mary has been my refuge. Thus, I come to this moment more clearly through Fra Lippi’s “Annunciation,” where a youthful Mary sets her face, in awe and in assent, not toward Gabriel, but rather, toward the dove. It is a moment of awakening, of softness and maturity
filled with the gentle ardor of maternal hope.