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Thursday, 15 December 2022 14:46

The promise fulfilled

 This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and said ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son
and they will call him Emmanuel,
a name which means ‘God-is-with-us’.

When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home. (Matthew 1:18-24)

Reflection - The promise fulfilled

The great Christmas feast is almost here. As always in Advent, what is promised in the first reading is brought to fulfilment in the Gospel reading. We began Advent with the cry, ‘Come, Lord Jesus’. We will end it with the joyful shout, ‘God is with us!’
Our Advent journey has called us to:
stay awake to the coming of God,
prepare ourselves to receive the Lord,
rejoice that he is not afraid to make his home with us, and to
receive him with faith and love.

At Christmas we will hear the call to give birth to him in word and action so that the saving power of God may be seen and experienced through our every thought, word and action.

The promise of the first reading from Isaiah that, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with us’,” is fulfilled in the Gospel which tells how Joseph received both Mary and Jesus into his home.

Following Joseph’s example, we joyfully welcome Jesus, and Mary, into our hearts.

The great gift of Jesus to the world cannot be confined only to one moment in history. Through us, the Body of Christ, the Gift is given again and again; born into every moment of human history. The presents we exchange at Christmas are meant to be symbols of our readiness to give and receive Christ, the eternal gift of God’s love.

As, year by year, we travel the liturgical journey of the Church’s feasts and seasons we touch ever more deeply the living presence of Christ in us that we may become ever more deeply the living presence of Christ in the world.

You can download and print our prayers and readings for this Sunday:

pdf Celebrating At Home 4th Sunday of Advent [PDF] (2.55 MB)                                       
default Celebrating At Home 4th Sunday of Advent [ePub] (7.84 MB)

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