Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

December 18 A..D. 2009

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19
Matthew 1:18-25

A reflection on today's Scripture:

This is how the birth of Jesus came about. (Matthew 12:18)

The moral and material health of a nation is greatly influenced by leaders who guide their people with Godly wisdom and justice.

Jeremiah chose to prophesy during a dark time just prior to the fall of Judah weakened by an incompetent ruler, Jedekiah. The prophet assured his nation that God would restore them through a leader from David's line who would rule with wisdom and strength and who would gather the scattered Israelites to their homeland to help it grow in numbers and esteem.

He referred to the new ruler as "The Lord of Justice" to suggest His divine influence. Psalm 72 adds that this leader, in addition to being just and wise, would exercise compassion toward those who remained poor and oppressed by doing kind deeds for the lowly, for those often neglected and looked down upon by the privileged class.

Our gospel presents a man in a situation that requires a deep trust, absolute faith in God and an unconditional love for the woman he was to marry, for she was found to be "with child." Had Joseph righteously insisted on following the law in the "cold light of justice," he could have demanded a return for his embarrassment, a move that would have ruined Mary's and her family's life. However, he then thought to simply "divorce" her quietly, until God sent him an angel in a dream to explain that the child she bore had been conceived by God's Holy Spirit.

Mary had been chosen to fulfill the prophecy that a virgin would bear a Son to be named "Emmanuel," meaning "God is with us." We are shown that living in God's righteousness not only requires faith, obedience, wisdom and justice, but if it is practiced apart from His love, it becomes a cruel sham.

All-powerful Father,
You have raised our Lord Jesus through a lowly virgin; let us glory in Your choice that draws mankind together, justly equal in stature and in Your love. Amen

~ Marie Bocko, OCDS
| email: mlbocko(at)twcny(dot)rr(dot)com Today's O Antiphon:
O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, Who showed Yourself to Moses in the burning bush, Who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out Your mighty hand to set us free.

This second "O Antiphon" is sung at Evening Prayer, December 18. Full text and more information:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday of the Third Week of Advent

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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