December 24, 2017: The Dwelling Place of God
This year the fourth week of Advent is only part of one day (Sunday) since Christmas eve falls on Sunday evening. The readings on the fourth Sunday of Advent illustrate the development of the sense of the divine presence in salvation history. In ancient Israel the ark of the covenant was housed in a tent that traveled with the people as they migrated. Then the temple was built in Jerusalem where the ark was kept. The gospel tells us of how God becomes incarnate in the virgin Mary for all of humankind.
The Mass on Christmas day proclaims that "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." A more literal translation says "He pitched his tent among us." This mystery of the incarnation is what we celebrate throughout the Christmas season. Let us rejoice and delight in this marvelous mystery!