Sunday, December 22
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Matthew 1: 18 – 24
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“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.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
In today’s Gospel we heard about the story of the birth of Jesus. You see, Jesus’ birth is the greatest of all of God’s miracles, as it is through His birth that God took on human flesh in order to become Emmanuel…“God is with us.” Why God came in this way is part of the mystery of Christ. However, by Jesus coming as a baby, God fully identified with our lowly being…sharing fully our experiences, including all our suffering. What a beautiful way to show children that God loves them…for He was once a child Himself, just like they are. The Christ child grew up, He became a man, He died, and was resurrected so that we can be with Him and share His joy forever!!
Matthew’s Gospel today narrates the birth of Jesus from the viewpoint of St. Joseph. What especially resonates with me about Joseph is that not a single word of what he ever spoke was recorded. We have heard it said that “actions speak louder than words,” and, if that is indeed the case, then Joseph speaks volumes. We hear that he was a righteous man and that he obeyed the revelation God gave him through the angel and in the dreams.
And so, friends, where are you on this Fourth Sunday of Advent? Are your “actions speaking louder than your words” when it comes to your obedience to what God wants you to do? Are you prepared for Emmanuel – God is with us.”
On behalf of all the clergy here at St. Brigid of Kildare Parish, we want to wish you, your families and friends a very Merry and “Blessed” Christmas!!
-Deacon Paul Zemanek