Advent Meditations: Sunday 22 December

Dec 22, 2019 by

Dec 22
am: 144, 80
pm: 118,126
Isa 7:1-10 Rom 1:1-7 Matt 1:18-25


ADVENT IV –Liturgical Theme  for Today : In this last week before Christmas, we focus on God’s love as we prepare for the Good news. The Lighting of the Candle for this 4th Sunday is often known as the Love Candle. Some other traditions refer to the 4th Candle as the Shepherds Candle. In either case, as we consider the lessons today, we turn to the Lectionary Readings for Sunday .Many are inclined to look past the 4th Sunday of Advent as Christmas is so close and  there is so much to be done. But the church maintains that we observe this fully  as the themes of today are essential to us embracing the promise that awaits us.

Biblical Meditation :  Earlier  in these meditations on the first day of the O Antiphons we considered the opening of  Matthew’s Gospel which helps sets the stage  for the complexity of human and divine realities that are coming to ahead in the Gospel account for today’s Eucharist. We are told that Joseph is a “righteous man,”  and like most men of his day particularly in Judaism  his reputation and observance of Jewish law was  an essential component to his identity, meaning and purpose. Yet, he is also just and compassionate so the idea to end his  ties with Mary made perfect sense. We have a profound sense  of who Joseph is  in his desire to dismiss Mary “quietly,” perhaps by offering a different excuse for breaking the engagement, providing Mary protection from a possible death sentence for her perceived adultery. This Is an act of grace under pressure rather than demanding his due. Once the angle reveals to him the fullness of this mystery, we get a deeper insight into his character. No the son is not biologically His but he understands the fullness  of what is happening so he will be the surrogate father and fulfill what has been foretold. What a man. No revenge, no wanting his share of the pie, only a sense of justice, mercy dignity and faith. He was a man for others.

PRAYER: Gracious God, send your blessing upon your Church, set apart for the gospel and called to belong to Jesus Christ, that we who have received your grace may bear witness to the reconciliation of your love in the world.  It is your message that the world yearns to hear, help enable your church to be the voice of that message, we ask this through Jesus Christ Our Lord Amen.

Spiritual Discipline /Activity Take today to honor a father in your life . Take time to tell and show him that he follows in the example of a great father figure Joseph.

Ancient Words/Present Grace: “St. Joseph was chosen among all men, to be the protector and guardian of the Virgin Mother of God; the defender and foster-father of the Infant-God, and the only co-operator upon earth, the one confidant of the secret of God in the work of the redemption of mankind. – St. Bernard of Clairvaux

O Antiphon – O King of the gentiles and their desired One, the cornerstone that makes both one: come, and deliver man, whom you formed out of the dust of the earth.

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