Mass Readings

December 18, 2018

Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 194

Reading 1 Jer 23:5-8

Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David;
As king he shall reign and govern wisely,
he shall do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah shall be saved,
Israel shall dwell in security.
This is the name they give him:
“The LORD our justice.”

Therefore, the days will come, says the LORD,
when they shall no longer say, “As the LORD lives,
who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt”;
but rather, “As the LORD lives,
who brought the descendants of the house of Israel
up from the land of the north”–
and from all the lands to which I banished them;
they shall again live on their own land.

Responsorial Psalm pS 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19

R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous deeds.
And blessed forever be his glorious name;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 1:18-25

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.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
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.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.

Homily 12-18-2018
Rev. Fr. Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam 
Holy Angels Parish, St. Albans, Vermont 
Jeremiah 23:5-8; Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19; Matthew 1:18-25
A lot of things came into play at the birth of Jesus Christ: generations passed, everything was going normal until the time of this great incarnation, the story changed.
1~ The evangelist after enumerating the generations before the birth of the Lord, here he gives us how this birth came to take place. Never in history had it been told of any human being that a virgin gave birth; because we live in a world of nature, this is not possible. Yet beyond this physical world of nature the Divine course interpolated with the course of time and nature.
2~ Even though this took place in time, yet it is beyond time, because it had been from the beginning. When this happened, Joseph like every other man out there was, unbeknownst to this plan decided to take the alternative route, which was to send her away gently without attracting public disgrace.
3~ It was at this point that God decided to make him part of the plan; because not everyone would be open to God’s plan. For this man, Joseph, this was not his plans, but things had turned out the other way round. But in obedience to this demand, he became part of the plan. This was how the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ came to take place.
4~ It was this birth that the first reading reported that the following events will mark it: As king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land. Who had ever been or will be wiser than Christ? When we fight ourselves in the name of Christ, let us examine ourselves to know whether we are following Him wisely or whether we are following our inclinations foolishly.
5~ Dear friend, as we approach the reason for the season of Christmas, let us look at how we arrived here. It is because God had planned it and wanted it to be so. May we not be distracted by the alien ideas being introduced into this season, because none of them show how Christ came to be born. O Lord, may we live in line with the plans you have for us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
“Even though a person has renounced physical parenthood, as a virgin he or she can assume a spiritual parenthood towards many by co-operating in the development of the family according to God’s plan.” St. John Paul II
May the grace of God lead you to God’s plans for you
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam

Holy Angels Parish and St Mary’s Parish, St Albans, Vermont