December 17, 2016

4th Sunday of Advent - A


What’s in the Name?

In this Gospel passage, Matthew records two names for the child soon to be born:  Jesus and Emmanuel. 

“Jesus” can be translated as “God saves.”  Or as the angel explains to Joseph, “because he will save his people from their sins”

The remainder of Advent offers us an opportunity to ask ourselves if we truly believe that Jesus is the only Savior.  We can put so much hope and expectations on political leaders, celebrities, star athletes, or in our talents, abilities, resources, money, popularity…. And the list goes on.  But only Jesus saves us from sins.

Emmanuel: “God is with us.”

Our Savior is not a kind of a troubleshooting superhero who flashes in and out when we are in need of help, or in trouble.   

Our Savior is a loving God who desires to be with us.  In fact, the Gospel of Matthew ends with the Emmanuel’s assurance to his disciples, “I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:20).

The Savior who was born to us in Bethlehem is with us always – in each of us, in all people as His brothers and sisters, in all of God’s creation, and most especially in his words and in the Sacraments.

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