The Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky! King Ahaz of Jerusalem was in a crisis. He did not have the resources to defeat his enemies. Instead of trusting in God, who wanted to share His power – he turns to the King of Assyria. In paying homage to the Assyrian King, he would be accepting their pagan practices.
Regardless, the prophet Isaiah promises a sign. Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel. Emmanuel means “God-with-us. This is great news! God is always with us. However, sometimes we forget and choose to solve our problems and face life’s challenges on our own. God does not hold our past sins and failures against us. Rather, He gently invites us to seek Him in His mercy, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. God wanted to rescue King Ahaz, despite all his past unfaithfulness and so God wants to help us too! God made Himself present to King Ahaz and so He does to us as well.
Through him we have received the grace of apostleship. As an apostle, St. Paul brought the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of his time. We too are called to make Jesus present in our time and place. In order to do so, we must open our minds and hearts to the presence and action of Jesus Christ.
The season of Advent is to help us to realize the presence of Jesus Christ already in our midst. His presence alone brings us freedom, peace and joy.
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him… We see that Joseph trusted in God’s word and was obedient to that word. We find the same deep level of trust in Mary: Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. (Lk1:38) Mary and Joseph are pillars of trust. We trust in the promises that we receive through Jesus Christ – forgiveness of sin, with-us always and life everlasting.
A blessed Christmas to all!