A Loud Cry

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HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT – YEAR C
BY: REV.FR. STEPHEN DEH (TUTOR AT ST. MARY’S SEM/SECONDARY SCHOOL, LOLOBI - DIOCESE OF HO AND AUTHOR OF “A GUIDE TO PRAYER: THE RIGHT AND EFFECTIVE WAY TO PRAY”) READINGS: MICAH 5:1-4; PSALM 80; HEBREWS 10:5-10; LUKE 1:39-44 THEME: “… a loud cry” (Luke 1:42)

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent which is also the last Sunday of Advent, the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth is proclaimed at Mass (Luke 1:39-44). Mary’s Visitation to Elizabeth has interesting echoes and parallels or similarities with the story of David returning the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem in the Second book of Samuel chapter 6. As Mary “set out” for the hill country of Judah, so did David (compare Luke 1:19 to 2 Samuel 6:2). David, upon seeing the Ark, cries out “How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?” Elizabeth says the same thing about “the mother of my Lord” (compare Luke 1:43 to 2 Samuel 6:9). John leaps in Elizabeth’s womb, as David danced before the Ark (compare Luke 1:41 to 2 Samuel 6:16). And as the Ark stayed three months in “the house of Obed-edom,” Mary stays three months in “the house of Zechariah” (compare Luke 1:40,56 to 2 Samuel 6:11). It is evident therefore that Luke presents Mary in this passage as the Ark of the Covenant, as we can see from the parallel that he draws with the narrative of King David taking the Ark to Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 6. On the way, David and his men carry the Ark on an ox-cart to the holy city, one of the oxen transporting the sacred vessel stumbles in the road and one of the men present by name of Uzzah puts out his hand and takes hold of the Ark. But, “the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there because he put forth his hand to the Ark; and he died there beside the Ark of God” (2 Sam. 6:7). Frightened, David asked, “How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?” (v. 9). And David takes the Ark aside to the house of Obed-edom, where it stayed for three months before...
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