Sunday, December 18
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Roman Ordinary calendar
Book of Isaiah 7,10-14.
The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
Letter to the Romans 1,1-7.
Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God,
which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy scriptures,
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;
to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint 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 be with child 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.
Reflection by Fr Luis Zazano:
Joseph do not be afraid
1) Joseph’s crisis: Here we find Joseph experiencing a big dilemma. He feels cheated, not understanding the situation. He is shaken to his core… Have you ever felt that way? Have you had organized, concrete plans that were ruined by something totally unexpected? Joseph is confused, but he never reacts hysterically. Instead, he handles this crisis situation in a prudent manner; like a gentleman. He decided to quietly leave her in secret. How often have we wanted to avoid difficult situations? We should ask St. Joseph to help us be patient and prudent in times of crisis.
2) The Angel said “Do not be afraid”: Even today when we face a crisis or conflict God’s light comes through telling us “Do not be afraid”. When you can’t see a way out of your problems there will always be an Angel (in the form of a friend or family member, perhaps) that will show you the “Hand of God” in the situation. Allow God to illuminate you; be alert, and look for the help God is sending to save you.
3) He takes Mary: Joseph trusts and takes Mary into his home. During this time we should take Mary with us: Pray the Rosary, Pray 3 Hail Mary’s before bed, Contemplate and image of The Virgin Mary…
With Mary everything is easier. Ask her to ask her son to help you. Allow God’s hand to touch your life. Often we are like Joseph not understanding the crisis we face, but trust and “Do not be afraid” because God will make the best of the situation. Remember, Christmas is Jesus!
God bless you in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
And remember, Heaven is our goal.
Traditional Latin Mass Readings for this Sunday
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