Today’s Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, 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.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
The Gospel reading for today reminds us of what the Advent Season and Christmas reveal to us: God is with us. God did not abandon us. He did not leave us. He did not forget about us. While the story only begins with the birth of Jesus, we must not rush forward and miss this message: God is with us. We must not forget that we have a God who did not turn His back on His people, but instead came to save them. He came to invite us into a deeper union with Him than we had before the Fall. God is good and God is with us! Emmanuel!
When something amazing or profound happened to Our Lady in Sacred Scripture, she “kept these things in her heart” (cf. Lk 2:19, 51). Today let us keep this one thing echoing in your hearts: “God is with us.” And if God is with us…
He will protect us (cf. Heb. 13: 5-6)
He will comfort us (cf. Ps. 23:4)
He will provide for us (cf. Mt 6:33)
He will help us (cf. Is 41:13)
He will strengthen us (cf. Is 41:10)
He will save us (cf. Ps. 18:2)
He will make all things new (cf. Rev. 21:5)
The Benedictus, Canticle of Zechariah (Lk 1: 68-79)
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; He has come to His people and sent them free. He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of His servant David. Through His holy prophets He promised of old that He would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant. This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship Him without fear, holy and righteous in His sight all the days of our life. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way, to give His people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
A week from now is Christmas day! Just as Advent is a Season, Christmas is a Season. Christmas will begin on December 25th and it ends with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Just as you have had to be intentional throughout Advent, you must also be intentional in Christmas. What are your plans for Christmas, not just that morning or that day but for the season? How will the two of you celebrate the Season of Christmas?
Click below to find some great ideas that you can do to help you celebrate the Season of Christmas:
USCCB and the Christmas Season
Catholic Icing’s Christmas Crafts and Activities for Kids