Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14, Letter, Saint Paul to the Romans 1:1-7, Gospel according to Matthew 1:18-24
“The Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky!” How many times do you hear people say, “Oh, that’s a sign!” and others tempt God by asking for a sign, behaving in a superstitious manner?
When we are troubled and long to see the road ahead and there is chaos and confusion all around, the “wisest” thing we can do is pray to God and ask Him for wisdom, understanding and prudence. If we humble ourselves before Him he will give us these gifts of the Spirit.
Paul says he is called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God, the gospel about His Son, who descended from David according to the flesh and through the resurrection from the dead he brought about the obedience of faith for the Gentiles as well as the Jews, for all peoples.
The gospel proclaims that the birth came about when Mary was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Mary was a virgin before, during, and after the birth of Jesus. She was already betrothed to Joseph when the angel Gabriel announced the birth. May said, “Let it be done unto me according to your word.” When Joseph learned of Mary’s pregnancy, he decided to divorce her quietly, but the same angel Gabriel told him in a dream “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.” Joseph took her into his home. After Mary’s exalted position, Saint Joseph is the greatest saint in heaven. By the way, Mary (or Miriam) means “exalted one” or “bitterness”. She is highly exalted but also suffered the bitterness of the crucifixion of her Son.
Isaiah said, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”
We need to spend this last week of Advent “pondering in our hearts” like Mary over the Incarnation: “And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” God walked with the people of Israel, but we are privileged to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, even daily if we wish.
Luke is 24 chapters in all. If we read one chapter a day, that takes us to Christmas eve. Why not start now and “catch up”? Saint Jerome said, “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
Mrs. Peggy Brechtel, OP