4th Sunday of Advent, A

Fulfill the Lord's command

Matthew 1:18-24

For the fourth Sunday of Advent, the cycle is nearly complete.  All the advent candles are lit.  We are ready to receive Christ this Christmas.

In the first reading, Ahaz did not recognize the Christ; nevertheless, God himself who gave the sign: a virgin shall bear a son and she shall name him, "Immanuel", which means "God-is-with-us".

In the gospel, Joseph wanted to divorce Mary quietly so as not to put her to shame.  But the Angel Gabriel appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins."  Joseph is different from Ahaz in that he took Mary as his wife to fulfill the Lord's command.

What does it take for us to fulfill the Lord's command?

Strive to grow in faith

As it is not easy for today's generation to fulfill the Lord's command, but it is easy for people to follow the ways of the world, let us strive to grow in faith.  Faith enable us to know the language of God more than the language of the world.  Faith is nourished in the Church.

Strive to listen 

Listen not with the physical ears, but with our hearts.  Be sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit.  Know the signs of the times.  Discern.  Then we shall know where God is.

Live out

Live out what we have learned.  Put faith into action.  Then we shall see the saving works of the Lord.

Let us be like Joseph, not losing opportunity to heed God's command to take Mary as his wife.  We may lose the chance to serve Jesus.