It is 18th December 2016. It is the fourth Sunday of Advent. The readings are from Isaiah 7:10-14; the second reading is from Romans 1:1-7; and the Gospel from Matthew 1:18-24. The first reading is a reminder for all those who fail to put the trust in the Lord. No matter how seriously threatened by enemies, we must always trust the Lord that the Lord would provide the means of freedom, peace and security. The king of Judah failed utterly in this regard, refused to listen to the Word of God rather he put his trust in his military and political gains over the plans of God. It was the highest political crisis in his life. His faith was so shallow and demanding God for a proof to trust God. As a result, God tells, “the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.” (Is.7:14). The moments of crisis and sufferings ought to come in our lives. When they knock us down, can we have the courage to believe God-with-us? The responsorial Psalm acclaims, “Let the Lord enter; God is king of glory.” (Ps. 24:7c and 10b). In the second St. Paul assures us that the Son of God, Jesus Christ from whom we received grace and blessings and to whom alone we are indebted in total obedience. For St. Paul, faith is the absolute obedience to Jesus Christ. The Gospel presents the Annunciation to Joseph that tries to explain the dilemma of Joseph and his unquestionable obedience to the Word of God. God’s Spirit will enlighten our minds and provide clear headedness in the times of darkness, confusion, and in dilemma. When God intervenes in our struggles to believe God, God clarifies our minds with the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph accepted Mary as the maiden referred to in the prophecy and to submit himself totally to Jesus, the Emmanuel. “Jesus” means “God saves,” “Christ” means “God’s Anointed Messiah” and the name “Emmanuel” means “God in our midst.” This is the central theme of the Christmas that God became man. We cannot accept this mystery until we have the gift of faith that of St. Joseph. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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