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Fourth Sunday in Advent

December 19, 2019

Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 22

 

Isaiah 7:10-44

Psalm 24

Romans 1:1-7

Matthew 1:18-24

A few days ago I read on Bishop Robert Barron’s “Word on Fire” blog a Christmas quote from a comedian, who said, “Once again, we come to the holiday season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.”  How true.  When we do shop for Christmas gifts we are looking for the best bargains in order to get our “bang for our buck.”

Most of the “deals” we do hear about are from T.V. ads.  How many have you bought one of those “As Seen on T.V. items?”  You can buy, “The Flexible 15 in 1 Bicycle Wrench, the Perfect Pancake Pan, the Ronco Dicer and Slicer,” to name a few.  How can we live without these items?  But wait, the ad continues, if you order right now we will send you a second of what ever you are buying absolutely free…just pay separate shipping and handling.  I confess that I bought the “Flexible Pocket Hose.”  I hooked it up and it worked great…for thirty seconds…then exploded, true story.  Friends, sometimes we must realize that “if it’s too good to be true – it probably is.”

Do you believe that God will fulfill every promise He has made?  Today the prophet Isaiah spoke words of hope in a hopeless situation for Israel.  The Old Testament prophets trusted that God could somehow would “raise up a righteous shoot” from the stump of Jesse.  Like the prophets we too are called “in hope to believe against hope” that God can and will fulfill all His promises.

As Matthew tells us in today’s Gospel, Mary too had to face an enormous challenge to her faith and trust in God, and to the faith of her family and, to Joseph the man she chose to marry. 

But Mary’s dilemma was made easier by Joseph.  He was a “just and God-fearing man” and did not wish to embarrass or punish his espoused wife Mary when he discovered that she was pregnant.  To all appearances she had broken their solemn pledge to be faithful and chaste to one another.  God rewarded him not only with guidance and consolation, but with the divine assurance that he had indeed called Joseph to be the husband of Mary and to assume a mission that would require the utmost faith, confidence, and trust in Almighty God.

So, now do you feel you are ready to believe in the promises of God, even when you are faced with overwhelming circumstances?  I hope so.  God has not left us alone, but has brought us His only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The child Jesus is the “true gift” we receive on Christmas morning and for every day of our lives.

Unlike the “As Seen on T.V.” products we all must realize that Jesus Christ fulfills God’s promise, for HE IS MOST CERTAINLY – TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!” 

Question of the Day:  Do you believe that God will fulfill every promise He has made? 

Prayer:  “JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU”

Prosit

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

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