Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
May 24, 2024


The twofold character of Advent calls us to prepare for the remembering of the Word made Flesh at Christmas, and directs us to wait with alertness for Jesus’ second coming.

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Reading I : Micah 5:1-4

From you will come forth a savior.

  • The prophet Micah preached in and around Jerusalem in the eighth century B.C.
  • In today’s passage, Micah proclaims that hope will arise from another “city of David,” Bethlehem, and not Jerusalem.
  • The new king, the new anointed one who would bring salvation, would come like David from Bethlehem, and his kingdom would reach to the ends of the earth.

Reading II : Hebrews 10:5-10

One sacrifice instead of many.

  • The reading from the Letter to the Hebrews presents the incarnation of Jesus from a different perspective.
  • In today’s passage, the author discusses the difference between Jewish sacrifice and the one Christian sacrifice, the death of Jesus.
  • Jesus’ sacrifice of himself, a sacrifice offered only once, was made possible by his assuming a human body and human existence.

Gospel : Luke 1:39-45

Mary visits Elizabeth.

  • In today’s Gospel, Mary travels to the hill country of Judah, to the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth, where she visits Elizabeth.
  • When they meet, Elizabeth proclaims the greatness of Mary’s child and John the Baptizer, still in her womb, leaps for joy.
  • Luke makes it evident in today’s passage, that both mothers and both children are filled with the Holy Spirit.