⏰Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year A)

📖Isa 7:10-14; Psalm 24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6, (R.v.7c, 10c); Rom 1:1-7; Matt 1:18-24


The Hebrew word, Immanuel, as we all probably know by now means “God-is-with-us.” This is reflected literally in both the First Reading and the Gospel. In both accounts, the promised child that would bear this name is a child that would portray the destiny of God’s people. This child is going to be a special child, though Isaiah, in the First Reading might not have had a clear view on how special the child was going to be.

However, one thing is certain, the presence of this child reflects the presence of God among his people. This presence is going to offer hope, justice and liberation.

We can understand that well from an evaluation of the condition in which God makes the promise through Isaiah. The Israelites were threatened by the Syro-Ephraimite war, which was aimed at having them to join forces with Syria and Ephraim against Assyria. Ahaz, instead opted to hide under the protection of Assyria.

That was when Isaiah came in to advise Ahaz to put his trust in the Lord who is the only one that can protect. Hence, the promise of this child, Immanuel, serves as a visible sign of this promise of God to be with his people.

That meaning has not changed. The Gospel reflects the Christian interpretation of that promise and it is within that interpretation that we should celebrate the Christmas.

Let us not forget that this child comes to bring liberation from sin (cf. Matt 1:21). The only better way to celebrate it then is by living a sinless life and living in the faith that this God is with us always, in good and in bad times. One with God is majority (cf. Judges 6:16).

As we place all our hope in him at this period, may he guide, protect and provide for us at all times. Amen.

Happy Sunday to you. Peace be with you.

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