A righteous man

Greetings on this the Fourth Sunday of Advent
Readings: Is 7:10-14; Ps 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6; Rom 1:1-7; Mt 1:18-24
Notes: The 4th Sunday of Advent has arrived and the length of the 4th week of Advent is highly variable.

Depending on the day of the week Christmas day falls, the 4th week of Advent can be only hours long or a full week in length. This year it is a full week.

In addition to this variability of calendar is the cycles of readings. We have the Cycle A readings. The Birth of Jesus, Gospel of Matthew, the Vision of Joseph.

We have an entire week to contemplate Joseph and his encounter with 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.

Joseph himself has his own feast day, March 19th (days before the Solemnity of the Annunciation).

Our first reading has us contemplating another Divine-Human encounter, Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz with the Sign of Emmanuel. Through the week, those who act rightly with the Lord:

  • Zechariah.
  • Mary.
  • Mary-Elizabeth-John.
  • Mary-Magnificat.
  • Elizabeth-John.
  • Zachariah-John.
  • Year A The Birth of Jesus.
  • Year B Announcement of the Birth of Jesus.
  • Year C Mary Visits Elizabeth.

First reading
Unrighteous Decision

But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”

Tempt the LORD: Ahaz prefers to depend upon the might of Assyria rather than the might of God (NABRE commentary). How many in the Church make the deals that Ahaz makes?

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.

For the Christian the incarnation is the ultimate expression of God’s willingness to “be with us (NABRE commentary).

Responsorial Psalm
Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.

Second reading
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.

Alleluia Verse
The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.

Gospel Portion
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.

Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.

Divine-human encounter.
Righteous decision.

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

Be a righteous man or woman:

  1. Listen to the Lord when he speaks.
  2. Receive the message and contemplate the meaning (harmony, peace, mission, right a wrong).
  3. Act rightly.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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