5 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’ 7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when men shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’
8 but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit;19 and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly.20 But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;
21 she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.
JEREMIAH FORETELL the coming of a righteous Branch who shall move His people to “dwell in their own land” which can be said to allude to the first and second coming of Christ Jesus.
The Sacrament of baptism and confirmation are ‘marriage’ or covenant vows or contracts we have entered into with Christ and His Church that obliges us to remain true to the promises we have sworn in front of the assembly of God. We are called to remain obedient and strive to attain the righteousness of Christ Jesus, so we may dwell in the promised land.
THE GOSPEL READING: Joseph’s frightened response to the news of Mary’s pregnancy is akin to the idiom of a ‘deer caught in the headlights!’ The gospel writer makes the point that Joseph was a “just man,” to alert us to the fact that He desired to remain righteous and just on the matter of the Nazarite vow he had sworn to with Mary. Num 30:2-7 The phrase “before they came together” denote that Joseph did not engage in the conjugal act within his state of marriage, wherefore he thought it best to “send her away” to spare her any shame which included being stoned to death for breaking the oath she has sworn to with him! Of course we know that their marriage oath was not compromised as Joseph discovered by the mouth of an angel who told him that her pregnancy was an act of God. v20
Those of us who have strayed from the Sacramental vows we have made to our spouse and God must awake from our slumbering state and do that which is right and just in the eyes of God. Let not our fear of discovery numb our sense and sensibilities by considering divorce. We are called to be in right standing with our spouse and Christ who desire to forgive our sins in the Sacrament of reconciliation (confession), whereby the priest is bound under severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy what penitents have confessed to. Furthermore we are also called to forgive one another for our imprudent acts of sin, however it does not imply that we return to our vomit! 2Pt 2:21-22
LET US PRAY:Psalms 72:1-2,12-13,18-19
Give the king thy justice, O God, and thy righteousness to the royal son!
2 May he judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with justice!
12 For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.18 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.19 Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen!
Author. 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 days.
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