Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fourth Sunday of Advent

"The virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name Him Emmanuel, which means 'God is with us.'"
Is 7:14 and Mt 1:23

In today's first reading from the prophet Isaiah, we have the original prophecy of the sign that God will give to show His faithfulness to His promises to Abraham and David. Ahaz the King of Judah, in the line of David, has not been faithful to the covenant. Isaiah tells Ahaz to ask for a sign, but he won't. Yet God is ever faithful and to show His faithfulness, God Himself will provide the sign.

St. Matthew's gospel then quotes this passage from Isaiah and shows how in the most difficult circumstances of an unplanned pregnancy, God has now fulfilled the prophecy from hundreds of year before.

Many people today look for signs. Our faith is weak. We want to know for certain. We want a message, a confirmation, a plan, a sign. But Jesus is really the only sign we need. God became Man, Creator entered into creation. He came and fulfilled perfectly all the Old Testament prophecies. He is the sign that God so loved the world that He sent His only son.

And yet, God knows our weakness and so He does give us other signs. Sometimes the sign comes in the form of a phone call, a friendship, a happy event that comes to pass. And sometimes a sign comes in the form of a difficulty, a broken relationship, an illness, a death. When we look at the events in our lives with the eyes of faith, we can see these signs. May we keep our eyes on Jesus, The Sign, and look around for the other smaller signs too.

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