On this final Sunday of Advent our scriptures focus on the historical birth of Jesus, who is son of David and Son of God, child and king, Jesus and Emmanuel.
Isaiah the prophet begs Ahaz to ask for a sign, to allow God to offer him reassurance of the survival of the Davidic dynasty. The king hypocritically refuses to “tempt the LORD” in that way (Isaiah 7:12), but the prophet foretells the birth of a son, an heir to the throne, who will prove the Lord’s enduring protection of God’s chosen lineage on the throne of David. The child will be called Emmanuel.
Matthew’s reference to this history in his description of the birth of Jesus highlights the contrast between the faithless refusal of trust shown by Ahaz, and the complete trust in God shown by Mary and Joseph in bringing about the birth of Jesus Christ.
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First Reading — You will be given this sign: The virgin shall conceive and bear a son (Isaiah 7:10-14).
Psalm — Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory
Second Reading — God has called us to belong to Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1-7).
Gospel — The son born of Mary shall be called Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:18-24).
The English translation of the Psalm Responses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.