Sunday December 22, 2013
Fourth Sunday of Advent (NAB translation)
We are now in the fourth Sunday of Advent, and Christ is near. In this week of Advent we focus less on the second coming of Jesus and more on the preparation of Christmas. Both require that we prepare our hearts to accept the Lord, but Christmas requires a willingness to look and find God in the unexpected.
In this week’s first reading, we go back several chapters in Isaiah. Without additional context, this reading has details that can get lost. In his original plan, Ahaz is looking for an opportunity to to build political power with a new alliance with the the Assyrians. Isaiah convinces him to not do it, but not through faith. In return, Isaiah, recalls the sign he told Ahaz to ask for, and proclaims a prophecy of the coming messiah from a virgin birth.
PS 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R. (7c and 10b) Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.
This reading from the introduction of Paul’s letter to the Romans has a lot of words. Saint Paul spends most of this reading introducing himself and showing his authority as an Apostle. Many of the new Christians were former pagans, and Saint Paul shows us here how Christ salvation has come for all, even those that weren’t Jews before.
This week’s Gospel from St Matthew is the last preparation for the story of the Nativity of the Lord. All our anticipation of Advent is coming to close and the final candle has been lit. The Lord is near!
This is a very beautiful story that shows the righteousness and goodness of Saint Joseph. If Mary had been unfaithful to him as his betrothed, it would have been the law to have her stoned, but in his brokenheartedness, he still has compassion and tries to divorce her quietly. Later when he sleeping, an angel appears to show him that her pregnancy is from the Lord. He must have been relieved to know that the woman that he loved had not been unfaithful to him, and the situation wouldn’t have seemed too unexpected because of the prophecy from the first reading and his intimate knowledge of her holiness.
God sometimes storms into our lives in quiet ways that shake everything that we believe. Often times, the Lord speaks to us so quietly that our lives are too noisy to hear Him. I pray that your Advent ends very blessed and that your Christmas brings you the peace and Joy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Reflection done by Cristobal Almanza – @SoulPainter
Theme song – Ignite – Soundwave soundwave.cc
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