Skip to main content


Vatican Congregation for the Clergy sends reflections on the Readings for Mass

Wake up, therefore, because the birth of the Lord is almost at hand, let us go to meet Him in His glory: to listen to him, to love Him and to follow Him!


CHESAPEAKE, VA. (Catholic Online) - As we continue through our Advent preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of the Lord we offer the Reflection prepared by the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy on the Readings for the 4th Sunday of Advent below:

**********************

Wake up, therefore, because the birth of the Lord is almost at hand

Citations for the Readings from Holy Mass:
Is 7,10-14:
Rom 1,1-7:
Mt 1,18-24:

'The Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel' (Is 7:14).  This well known affirmation by the prophet Isaiah announces the coming of the Messiah into human history. 

It already gives us a taste of the proximity of that marvellous, stupendous day which will be the 'dies natalis' of Jesus. 

It was foretold by the prophets and proclaimed throughout the whole of Sacred Scriptures that He would be the One who would fulfil and bring them to completion. 

Our God will be incarnated and born due to the generous willingness of the 'Virgin' who, from the very beginning of time, was chosen to be the Mother of the Saviour.

On the one hand we see Ahaz's weak faith as he declined God's concession to grant him a sign.  Whilst on the other hand we see God's insistence in giving a sign so that His dwelling place amongst men could be fully realised (cf Is 7:10-14). 

'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife' (Mt 1:20).  Just like in the reading from the prophet Isaiah, yet in a diametrically opposed way to Ahaz's incredulous attitude, we see Joseph's full adherence to God's will.

He had just decided to divorce Mary on account of her unexpected pregnancy in accordance with the Law, but upon the Angel's reassurance 'he did what he told him to do: he took his wife home' (Mt 1:24).

Joseph's need for reassurance that the child was the fruit of the Holy Spirit doesn't diminish his fatherhood but rather enhances it as 'You must name him Jesus, because He is the One who is to save His people from their sins' (Mt 1:21).

In other words, thanks to his extraordinary fatherhood he, himself accepted and permitted the realisation of God's promise to reside amongst His people. 

Joseph's great faith helps us to comprehend that faith assumes a new importance in the most intimate things that belong to us.  We are reminded today that everyone of us has received our 'apostolic mission' to 'obtain the obedience of faith', and to profess our faith in Jesus Christ (cf Rm 1:1-7).

In all of these events we see the great mission that Mary undertook as a privileged instrument in the hands of God.  It is thanks to her that God found His home amongst men, as she became that first resting place of the Word: 

'Today O Mary you became the book in which our rule is described.  In you today is written the wisdom of the Eternal Father.. O Mary, my sweetest love, in you is written the Word, from whom we have life's doctrine.  You are the table on which that doctrine rests.  I see this Word that is written in you, who is not without the holy desire of the cross. Immediately that he was delivered to you, the desire of dieing for the health of men, for whom he was incarnated, was grafted and placed in Him.'

Wake up, therefore, because the birth of the Lord is almost at hand, let us go to meet Him in His glory: to listen to him, to love Him and to follow Him!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.

Keywords: Advent, Preparation, Vatican, Clergy, Mary, St. Joseph



NEWSLETTERS »

E-mail:       Zip Code: (ex. 90001)
Today's Headlines

Sign up for a roundup of the day's top stories. 5 days / week. See Sample

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Great Christmas Gift Ideas