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WOF Radio > Sermons > Sermon Archive for 2009 > Sermon 467 : Joy Before the Ark of God : Fourth Sunday of Advent
    Current rating: 4.6 (15 ratings)

    Sermon 467 : Joy Before the Ark of God : Fourth Sunday of Advent

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    The image of John the Baptist leaping in joy in the womb of his mother at the sound of the greeting of the Blessed Virgin Mary hearkens back to the Old Testament image of David, leaping and dancing before the Ark of the Covenant. The New Testament is properly understood when one references patterns or events that are described in the Old Testament.
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richard shackil
Excellent, learned sermon.
12/15/2009 4:20:48 PM
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martin moore
The teaser paragraph for this sermon has an error - it says "Ark of of" instead of "Ark of the" - Merry Christmas :-)
12/17/2009 9:15:10 AM
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Thanks Martin for pointing that out. It's now fixed. Merry Christmas to you, too!
12/17/2009 9:27:30 AM
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Mary Sayad
I watched Fr. Barron on EWTN and immediately ordered his CD of "UnTold Blessings, Three Paths to Holiness" and I immediately became a faithful listener. In your 4th Sun.of Advent audio, you refer to the the word "ephrata" but you do not translate its meaning. "Ephrata" is an Arabic word which means "Be joyful", and is properly defined as "celebrate exceedingly with joy". Thank you for strengthening our Biblical knowledge and understanding. I love this site and will be visiting it regularly. Thank you for this opportunity. Mary
12/17/2009 8:14:07 PM
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Mary Sayad
I watched Fr.Barron's video of "Untold Blessing-Three Paths to Holiness" on EWTN with much interest and then ordered the CD. In your fourth Sunday of Advent audio, you refer to the word "ephrata" but you do not translate its meaning. "Ephrata" is an Arabic
word which may be translated as "Be joyful" and may also be defined as expressing exceeding joy. Thank you for helping us to further our understanding of the Holy Bible. I plan on visiting this site regularly and I will be sharing it with friends & family. Thanks again.
12/17/2009 8:36:59 PM
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rose galic
Joy my new middle name. Mary the Ark of the Covenant. Thank God for your sermons.
12/18/2009 8:24:22 AM
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Kell Brigan
Brilliant, as usual.
12/20/2009 10:13:18 AM
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Fr well done, we need more like you to evangelise in the 'market place' so realistically.
12/20/2009 1:37:59 PM
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Giovanni Secchi
Dear Fr. Robert,
I wish you and the WOF-Team and all visitors of this website Blessed Christmas feast days and I thank you, Father, from the bottom of my heart for all the work you are doing for the Church.

Again I do not hide my thoughts on this occasion.

When I travel to Italy and the train is approaching and rolling in a certain destination more and more slowly, I hear a very familiar announcement aloud „Il treno sta arrivando a Stazione Termini“. The conductor does not need to mention the city where I am arriving, it can be only Rome. In the light of Christmas, we have been now arriving to the liturgical summit, our main goal at the end of Advent. But the comparison with the train is very problematic, although it might be after our taste and corresponding to our idea of 'relax’, ease and comfort. Our spiritual journey needs our initial conversion, our participation and affirmation. We cannot behave like the foreign passengers, but instead our goal is the union with God’s love through Christ in the Holy Spirit..

We can say that the anticipated joyful expectation for Christ’s incarnation has become the joy itself, if we look to the little baby Jesus . Accordingly the preceding other baby in Elisabth’s womb (i.e. John the Baptist) expresses Joy towards the incarnate Lord in Blessed Mary’s womb. The (latin) Vulgate translates the passage in Luke 1:44 with the words: „exsultavit in gaudio infans in utero meo”, the latin word exsultatio for “leap” (-> saltare, i.e. ‘to jump’) already implies the meaning for joy and the context also involves the moment of faithful insight, recognition, reverence and humility towards the Lord. As you pointed out, Fr. Barron, there is the (typlological) parallel to David dancing and jumping before the ark of the covenant (in 2Sa 6:14, 16 and 1Ch 15:29). David’s behaviour is described as the only appropriate expression towards God. By the way, King David performs priestly tasks in that context (2Sa 6:18). Michal’s unworthy, mocking and ironical comment towards David is clearly reversed by him to an affirmation with an exclamation mark, and the ending of that Chapter points to the providential answer against Michal’s self-blinding pride and arrogance against the priestly king and implicitly also against God who chose David: the result is the death of her womb!

Instead we must ensure that we act completely differenty and that we are spiritually fertile to be graced with the growing faith in us, as the fruit we are bearing in our hearts. Our answer towards the incarnate Eternal Word of God Jesus Christ must be like that of King David towards the Lord’s presence in the ark of the covenant: unconditional and humble, also in the eyes of all our neighbours; and our response to God’s incarnation in Blessed Mary’s womb (the new ark of the covenant) has to be like Blessed Mary’s unconditional Yes to the Lord: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38). Our yes to Jesus makes grow our Faith in our Souls and bears the fruit of Christ’s stronger presence in our hearts, as much as we allow our hearts to be more open through the conversion as it is expressed in the passage of Luke 3:3 about John the Baptist’s prophetical ministry. To change one’s mind and to overcome the wrong perspective, the erroneous thinking habits makes us realise and actualise our own nature as „the offspring of God“ as St. Paul says in Acts 17:29. As you pointed out, Fr. Robert, the idea of repentence is expressed in the original Greek text as „metánoia”. In Acts 17:30 it is applied in a verb form:
„God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people everywhere REPENT“ („metanoeîn“). I am so thankful for the very instructive hint to the key principle of metánoia, which actually conforms us to His will and His unchangeable Love and which remains relevant for our whole lives, otherwise we would loose our capability to be nurtured by God’s joyful love and we would be in extreme danger to dry out and loose our salvation. Exsultemus in Deo Domino nostro! Let us be (made) joyful in our Lord.

Isa 61:10
„I exult for joy in Yahweh, my soul rejoices in my God, for he has clothed me in garments of salvation, he has wrapped me in a cloak of saving justice, like a bridegroom wearing his garland, like a bride adorned in her jewels.“
12/24/2009 10:58:19 PM
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Joshua Barnard
Wonderful sermon, thank you
1/4/2010 11:20:49 AM
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1/27/2010 6:05:36 AM
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