‘They will call him Emmanuel,… which means ‘God-is-with-us.”
-Matthew 1: 23
Today’s Gospel from Matthew 1:18-24 highlights the conception and birth of Jesus. This is the last Sunday of our preparation for Christmas, before the birth of Christ, Our Saviour.
The faithfulness of God our Father, through the announcement of the birth of the Messiah, through His prophet Isaiah, reveals His faithfulness. God had promised the people of Israel, a Saviour to redeem them from slavery and sin. This promise was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus. Neither the infidelity nor ingratitude on the part of the people of Israel, could dissuade Almighty God from fulfilling His promise.
In the 1st reading from Isaiah 7:14 “The Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel”. This well-known proclamation by the prophet Isaiah announced the coming of the Messiah into human history. The promise of our heavenly Father is repeated in the gospel of Matthew 1:23: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14
We are unworthy to receive our Heavenly Father’s divine promise of a Saviour, but in His steadfast love and infinite compassion, He sent His Son, Jesus. Despite of our having so little humility, so little charity, so little faith and trust in His divine goodness, He shows us His infinite love.
Let us, imitate both Mary the Mother of Our Lord and St. Joseph in their humility, faithfulness and most importantly, in their obedience to the call of Our Heavenly Father to participate in the salvation of the world. We can never hope to equal them, but we can follow them humbly.
We too are called to submit ourselves to the call of Our Heavenly Father, to submit ourselves to His beloved Son, Jesus. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” Matthew 17:5.
Christmas, the birth of our Saviour, draws the hearts of every child of God towards the unfathomable divine love of The Holy Trinity. In the manger, the infinite love of God for us poor sinners is dramatically and divinely portrayed. In the baby Jesus, we know that the person, and the power, of the omnipotent Creator and sustainer of the universe lies hidden.
How are we preparing ourselves, to receive Jesus into our hearts this Christmas? Have we forgiven those who have hurt us? Shown compassion to others less fortunate?
Who are we going to share with this Christmas, the message of Love, Peace and Joy of Christ? Our loved ones, community, colleagues and importantly the poor.
Peace and Love,
Jacqueline & Philip