As Advent draws to a close, we focus on Jesus who will soon be among His people...
Reflections on the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (December 18, 2022): IS 7:10-14; PS 24:1-2,3-4,5-6; ROM 1:1-7; MT 1:18-24
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In Him, we recognize our Savior through the beauty and fullness of both His divine and human nature.
The New Testament readings on this last Sunday in the Advent season present Jesus as both divine and human; and proclaim Him Savior of all people. In the first, St. Paul wrote to the Christian community in Rome. While many of these were Jewish Christians, the majority were Gentile converts. He wanted all of them to appreciate the reality that the Good News of salvation is for everyone of every background through our Lord who offered His life for us. Paul says that he has been chosen by God to preach “the gospel about His Son, descended from David according to the flesh, but established as Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of His name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:3-6). Jesus was a Jew from the house of King David, but He is equally the Son of the Almighty. This truth is key to the coming of Christ to save humanity for all eternity.
In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, we hear that Joseph, a descendant of David, has been selected by the Eternal Father to become Jesus’ legal earthly father. In a dream, the angel tells him God’s plans and the role he’s called to accept in caring for Jesus and His mother Mary. St. Joseph, like the Blessed Virgin Mary, hears from the angelic messenger that the Holy Infant will be born of her through the power of the Holy Spirit. On awakening, Joseph consents to the Divine Will and welcomes Mary and her Son, whom she is carrying in her womb, into his home. The Gospel reading also reminds us of the passage from Isaiah and that the meaning of Emmanuel is God is with us. It goes on to say that St. Joseph is “to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). God saves and God is with us. This is the heart of the message we need to embrace as we move forward to Christmas.
Suggested missionary action: Let us thank God for the gift of redemption. Let us thank Him for loving us beyond our limited human comprehension in sending Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, to live with us and light our way to eternity with His own life.