18 December 2016
4th SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Cycle A. Violet.
Is 7:10 – 14 / Rom 1:1 – 7 / Mt 1:18 – 24
From the 1st Reading: Is 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The Virgin is with child and bears a son and calls him Immanuel.
From the 2nd Reading: Rom 1: 1 – 6
From Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, an apostle called and set apart for God's Good News, the very promises he foretold through his prophets in the sacred Scriptures, regarding his Son, who was born in the flesh a descendant of David, and has been recognized as the Son of God endowed with Power, upon rising from the dead through the Holy Spirit.
Through him, Jesus Christ, our Lord, and for the sake of his Name, we received grace and mission in all the nations, for them to accept the faith. All of you, the elected of Christ, are part of them, you, the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.
From the Gospel Reading: Mt 1: 18 – 23
This is how Jesus Christ was born. Mary his mother had been given to Joseph in marriage but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her.
While he was pondering over this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a son. You shall call him 'Jesus' for he will save his people from their sins."
All this happened in order to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Emmanuel which means: God-with-us.
The Advent season is a time to prepare for the celebration of the birth of God made man. The readings during the Advent season encourages us to think about our relationship with Jesus, who is Emmanuel, God-with-us. The readings help us to understand how God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son to bring peace and order, goodwill and hope to our broken and sinful world.
Today's first reading tells us that God himself will give us a sign of his saving work, "The Virgin is with child and bears a son and calls him Immanuel." Written in Isaiah centuries before the birth of Christ, the incarnation of the Son of God is accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit with the cooperation of the Virgin Mary.
God works in his own ways and times. The young maiden Mary is prepared to be the mother of his Son. At the annunciation by the angel, Mary generously responds to God's invitation: "I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said." (Lk 1: 38) Joseph obediently follows instructions given to him in dreams, to take Mary as his wife, to name the Child 'Jesus,' to do as the angel directed to protect the Child Jesus.
We may not be called to such key roles as the mother of the Son of God and his foster-father and protector. But each of us is called by God to be part of his work of saving the world and humankind. We are called to different vocations and callings in life: most to marriage and family life, some to single life, some to special roles in the Church in the ministerial priesthood or in religious life. We lead our lives as we have been called and have responded.
As we await the celebration of Christ's coming and birth for our salvation, let us reflect on how we have responded to God's calls and invitations. We have Jesus himself, Mary and Joseph and models and inspirations on obedient and generous responsiveness to God.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Fr. Makairog R. Reyes, SJ
Philo Thaddeus Go
Mary Grace G. Torres
Christine L. Pacayra
Jayson D. Rojo
Glenn & Marisa Espino
Benito & Alice Cua
Zenaida & Alexander See Co
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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