A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 1:18-25
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
19 Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.
20 Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.
21 She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”
24 When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
25 He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.
Reflection: Jesus as King
1. The beginning of the gospel of Saint Matthew highlights Jesus as the son of David and as the most awaited king whose name Jesus means to save people from their sins. The Jews were expecting a king to deliver them from their external enemies yet God sent His only Son to deliver them from the very source of enslavement – sin and death. This is yet another example of how God’s ways are not man’s ways (Isaiah 55:8).
2. This passage of Matthew’s gospel also conveys another title for Jesus, Emmanuel which means God is with us. In other words, God did not just send a king, He Himself is the King. He just incarnated into human form. He wanted not just to be visible but to be one with His people, to feel how they feel, and to be tempted in every way but without sin (Hebrew 4:15). The implication is obvious. God has shown His people how much He cares for them. He understands them and their problems perfectly because He Himself underwent suffering and death.
3. The gospel also presents a man named Joseph. He was a righteous man who was engaged to Mary although she became pregnant before they could have any relations. It was too much for Joseph so he decided to divorce her quietly but then God intervened though His angel. This is yet another example of How God truly cares. He intervenes in a man’s life in order that His will be fulfilled. He uses people as His partners in order that His plan of salvation will be carried out. Do we make ourselves available to be used by God to implement His will?