Late Advent Weekday — December 18

Late Advent Weekday — December 18
Jeremiah 23:5-8  +  Matthew 1:18-25
December 18, 2020

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.

Only the Gospel accounts of St. Matthew and St. Luke relate any of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ.  During the last eight days of Advent, the Gospel Readings come from the first chapter of Matthew and the first chapter of Luke.  In fact, only on December 17 and 18 do the Gospel Readings come from Matthew.

In St. Matthew’s account of the Gospel, the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary is not recorded.  Today’s Gospel Reading is St. Matthew’s only narrative about the events occurring before Jesus’ birth.  This single narrative records the Annunciation to St. Joseph.

Saint Joseph is one of four key figures in the landscape of Advent, the others being St. John the Baptist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Lord Jesus.  Among these four, St. Joseph is the easiest to overlook.  None of the four evangelists records even a single word that Joseph spoke.  Yet in today’s Gospel Reading, the evangelist focuses upon Joseph’s faith and action.  St. Joseph puts his faith in what God declares to him.  Then Joseph works to carry out God’s will.  In both of these, Joseph is model for each of us Christians.