2 Samuel 7:4-5,12-14,16
4 But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan,5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in?12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men;16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.'”

Romans 4:13,16-18,22

13 The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants– not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all,17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations” –in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations; as he had been told, “So shall your descendants be.”22 That is why his faith was “reckoned to him as righteousness.”

Matthew 1:16,18-21,24

16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.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.” 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife.


THE FIRST READING: Nathan the prophet and adviser to King David, informs him that God desire he build Him a ‘qahal’ also referred to as a house or dwelling place. Within this house, God shall raise, teach, discipline and chastise David’s offspring should they step out of line. Putting it another way, the Son of David shall forever be the sacrificial victim who shall bear the sin of humanity.

THE SECOND READING: St Paul hold up Abraham as the epitome of faithfulness and righteousness, because of his dogged reliance on God and the charism of sanctifying grace that moved him to obey God without question!

THE GOSPEL READING: Joseph found himself between a rock and a hard place upon his discovery that Mary was with child, knowing that both he and she had not “come together” meaning that they did not engage in the conjugal act! Whilst discerning the option to send Mary away to avoid a scandal, it took a visitation of an angel of the Lord to enlighten him that Marys gestation was not a human act, but a supernatural function of God!

All of us have at some point sworn an oath be it for the purchasing of a house, goods or to live a sacramental life be it in; marriage, remaining single or choosing the priestly vocation. Whilst each of our choices or agreements were premised by our undertaking to faithfully comply with the letter of the law albeit it juridical or sacramental, it did not preclude us from facing difficult times or having to make difficult decisions. At such juctures we must harken to the voice of the LORD, and embark on a process of discernment, rather than wilfully dismiss or abandoning our cross.The guardrails for faithfulness, steadfastness, discipline, fortitude and obedience is to be a house or dwelling place wherein Christ can find His rest. Let us follow Joseph’s example and embrace our cross, rather than breaking our vows!

LET US PRAY: Psalms 89:2-5,27,29

2 For thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.3 Thou hast said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant:

4 ‘I will establish your descendants for ever, and build your throne for all generations.'” [Selah]5 Let the heavens praise thy wonders, O LORD, thy faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! 27 And I will make him the first-born, the highest of the kings of the earth.29 I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of the heavens.

Commentary. 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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