4 TH.Sunday of ADVENT Year (A) (Dec 18, 2022) Is 7:10-14; Rom 1:1-7; Mt 1:18-24
“Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel-God is with us.”
Introduction: The story of the Virgin Birth is at the heart of our Christmas celebrations. Hence, today’s readings focus on the story of the Virgin Birth. In the 1 st . reading, God gives a sign through the prophet Isaiah to King Ahaz of Judah: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (Is 7:14). Matthew considers this one of the most descriptive and definite prophecies foretelling that the future Messianic king, the Christ, would be born as a descendant of David. The Refrain for today’s Resp. Psalm (Ps 24), “Let the Lord enter; He is King of Glory,” reminds us that, like Joseph, we must choose to let Jesus enter our hearts to rule our lives, for God never forces us to receive His gifts.
Lesson: Today’s Gospel, from Matthew, focuses on the person and role of Joseph. In order for Jesus to fulfill the Messianic prophecy given by Isaiah, Joseph had to, and freely, willingly, did, accept Jesus as his son, making Jesus a descendant of David because Joseph was a descendant of David. Hence, Matthew makes it clear that Jesus was not the biological child of Joseph. But because Joseph was the husband of Mary at the time Jesus was born, and because he named and thus formally accepted the child as his own, Jesus was legally the son of Joseph and thus a descendant of David
Life Message: We need to experience Emmanuel in our lives and change the world: God who entered our world through Jesus some 2000 years ago is at work in the world. But the question is, if God has come to be present in our lives and our world, then why are there so many lives which are unhappy? Why are people so hostile, hating each other, and why do so many love-relationships turn sour? Why is there domestic violence? Why is there child abuse? Why is there war in at least a dozen countries of God’s good earth at any given time? Why are so many people homeless and hungry, even in rich countries?
The Good News, the consoling message of Christmas, is that the child Jesus still waits today to step into our hearts—your heart and mine—and to change us and the world around us by the beauty of God’s love, kindness, mercy and compassion. Let us take some time to let the Christ Child enter our hearts and lives this week, so that He may change our world of miseries with the beauty of that love.
Conclusion: Let us be a Christmas gift to others: The greatest gift we can give to those we love, is to have faith in them, believe in their dreams, and try to help them realize them. We need to believe in the dreams of our husband, wife, children, parents, heroes, leaders, and friends, then try our best to help them realize those dreams.