Friday, 18 December 2009

And they shall call Him Emmanuel

The Gospel today is from chapter one of Matthew's Gospel, and his account of the nativity.

In reading the Gospel we can be struck by Josephs humbleness, in a way I guess by his love. We don't know how well he knew Mary, marriages were usually arranged different from how they are now. They might not actually have known each other that well, or at all.

But a fact is that Joseph wanted to save her public discrace when he found out that she was with child, and knew it was not his. This could have had the most disasterous result for Mary, if it was pubicly made known. It could have meant death by stoning.

Joseph here is a role model for us. He first wants to do the right thing without harming Mary, and then when the Angel came to him he fully trusted in God and did whatever the angels told him.

The humble and hidden role of Joseph is often forgotten...

But the point that strikes me most is the prophesy of Isiah, even though I don't know really why. "behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call him Emmanuel".

For whatever reason, the 'they' strikes me. The name Emmanuel, God is with us, is not given to Him by His parents, but bij them, by the multitude, by us. It is the effect of Jesus nativity and knowledge of Him that makes God known.

I guess this ties in with Advent. It is not the name Jesus by which the child is going to be called, but the fact that "God is with us" that is important. As I find that now toward the end of Advent I start to repeat myself, I again want to stress that it is this personal encounter that "God is with me" that makes all the difference in life. As such we keep praying for this emcounter to be reborn in our hearts during this upcoming Christmas.

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The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


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