4th Week of Advent : Sunday 22nd December 2019

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Joseph’s YES allowed God’s plan to be fulfilled

4th Week of Advent : Sunday 22nd December 2019

Is. 7:10-14; Ps. 24(23):1-2,3-4,5-6;
Rom. 1:1-7; Mt. 1:18-24 (Ps Wk IV)

The Gospel account invites us to reflect on the Spirituality of Joseph which is the total submission to God’s will as seen at different stages of his life. His readiness to accept Mary in her condition challenges us to face our own realities today. It demands the openness to listen to God’s Word and the readiness to sacrifice one’s intent so as to change her/his plans in order to accept the present life situations, be they be difficult or a call for self-sacrificing.

This is certainly not an easy task as it involves pain, confusion, letting go of the familiarity to go beyond. It needs courage and strength to embrace the unknown. Joseph’s YES allowed God’s plan to be fulfilled. We also see his sensitivity to Mary’s situation that challenges us to be attentive to others in need.  This is what the followers of Jesus are expected to do.

The word  ‘Emmanuel’— ‘God-with-us’ — is the name of God.  When we respond positively to God’s invitation to mission, God’s presence is revealed. This makes ‘God-with-us’ a reality as God’s Kingdom is fulfilled. This is the ‘grace’ that Paul refers to in the second reading. It gives us the courage and strength to want to carry out the apostolic mission to share the Good News with all.

So, the ‘Emmanuel’ — ‘God-with-us’ — is the promise that Isaiah talks about and its fulfilment in the Birth of Jesus.

“Lord, may the spirit of self-surrender lead us to a life of a true discipleship in obedience to the will of God.”

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