And they will Call Him Emmanuel…

4th Sunday of Advent

The Gospel (Matt: 1:18-24) passage for this fourth Sunday of Advent gives us the opportunity to reflect on the role of Joseph and Mary in the great event of Christmas.  God was incarnated flesh, God came to us, taking on flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary.  God is with us, and He is ‘Emmanuel’ a name which means ‘God with us’.   
 
Leading up to the event that is the first Christmas, Joseph was shocked by Mary’s pregnancy and decided to divorce her informally.  However, he did what God’s angel asked of him, and took Mary into his house.  Through the link with Joseph, Jesus inherited the ancestry of David, thus making Jesus a ‘son of David’ – a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy.   Mary on the other hand, gives us the model of a Christian discipleship.  Her ‘yes’ to God in an open and humble manner is an example to us all.  ‘Let Thy will be done not mine’ should be something that challenges all Christians. 
In our preparation to celebrate this Christmas, and indeed in our life’s preparation to meet Christ in His second coming or in our meeting him in our death, we must strive continually to be like Mary and Joseph.  God has plans for us too: it is up to us to be like Joseph and Mary: saying ‘Yes’ to God, and doing the will of God. 

                             Come Lord Jesus                
       Fr Michael

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