Isaiah 7:10-13,14;8:10

10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 

11 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 

12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.” 13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 And he will become a sanctuary, and a stone of offense, and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.8:10 10 Take counsel together, but it will come to nought; speak a word, but it will not stand, for God is with us. 

Hebrews 10:4-10

4 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. 

5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure. 

7 Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,’ as it is written of me in the roll of the book.” 8 When he said above, “Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Lo, I have come to do thy will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 

Luke 1:26-38

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” 

29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 

31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” 

35 And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 

37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.


ISAIAH THE PROPHET and his son is sent to meet with king Ahaz to inform him of a planned onslaught upon Jerusalem that is being schemed by his powerful enemies who wished to replace him. Ahaz spoke to the Lord about this grave matter and the Lord responded and suggested that Ahaz dig a little deeper and higher and to make the most stupendous request! That being said, Ahaz was illuminated and came to declare that God will establish a sanctuary that will be a bulwark against the onslaught of the enemies who failed in their mission to overthrow the people of Judah.

THE HEBREW author notes that the perennial animal sacrifices at the temple were reminders of the sin of the people. To be sure it was also a mode of worship that departed from the practice of animal worship! These sacrifices were a foreshadowing of God’s plan with the once-off sacrificial offering of the Son of God who became the lamb that was slain to blot out the sin of the people. 

THE GOSPEL READING describes Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel who delivered a message of salvation. Tradition teaches that Mary’s parents Anna and Joachim were barren up to their old age when God supernaturally intervened that saw Mary’s birth. From about the age of four Mary was taken to the temple to be in service of God as was the common practice of many maidens who desired to be the first to meet the Messiah when He comes.

Mary’s demeanor at the surprise angelic visitation and news can be described as: Perplexed,shocked,joyful, unexpected and being in a filial fearful state that suggests she did not count herself worthy to be chosen for such an Awesome task! Come to think of it, Mary became the sacred sanctuary who had to hold,treasure, teach and raise the Messiah whilst being the most exemplary ‘Godly’ Mother of mother’s. Moreover, Mary was overcome with a filial fear that she may betray Gods trust which challenged her to exemplify the highest love of God!  Despite the objective mission of Mary to always be pure and in a state of God’s grace,her humbleness is very apparent when she received the angelic news that she has been chosen from among many other maidens-in-waiting at the temple! May we mimic Mary as the preeminent humble model that reflect that God is with us.

LET US PRAY: Psalms 40:7-11

7 Then I said, “Lo, I come; in the roll of the book it is written of me; 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is within my heart.” 

9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; lo, I have not restrained my lips, as thou knowest, O LORD. 10 I have not hid thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness from the great congregation. 

11 Do not thou, O LORD, withhold thy mercy from me, let thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness ever preserve me!    Henry R SYLVESTER              

Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast

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