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Matthew 1:18-23

The Word of God

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us."

Matthew 1:18-23
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The birth of a baby is always a moment of great wonder and mystery. The birth of Our Lady is even more of a joyful event; it is a clear sign that our salvation, the fulfilment of God's promises is very near. I share in the joy and wonder of Anne and Joachim.
    • I reflect on Mary's place in my life now. It probably changes from time to time. I pray that I find in her the person who was closest to Jesus, and I ask her to bring me closer to him, forming my heart as she formed his.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Joseph was able to change his mind even when he had determined a conscientious and careful path. Like Mary, he was alert to a greater plan and was able to put even his good decision aside when God directed his attention to a better one. There may be conclusions to which I have come that are logical and sensible but will never fit properly within the framework of the gospel. Instead of trying to figure it out entirely on my own, I ask God for light.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • What do we know about St Joseph? That he loved Mary so much that he suppressed his doubts about her chastity and allowed himself to be regarded as the father of her child, knowing that he wasn't (when Jesus took the floor in the Nazareth synagogue [Luke 4,22], the begrudgers remarked: /Is not this the son of Joseph?/); that he brought up that child as his own, despite great difficulties and dangers, particularly at the start; that he taught him his trade; that he loved him; and that Jesus' virile health as an adult (physical stamina, courage, strength of purpose and attractiveness to women, men and children) is proof of good parenting by his foster-father. Joseph is the obvious patron of adoptive fathers.
    • The name of Jesus, ‘Emmanuel’ or ‘God is with us’ is like a mantra which will be a name for Jesus. We can look at everything he does, and everything that happens to him with these words echoing like a chorus or featured like a backdrop behind him. Because of him we are all Emmanuel; God is with us still in a special way because he was in Jesus in a special way. We could look this day at everyone we meet and say ‘Emmanuel’.