"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son"

As our Advent preparation draws to a close, we read Matthew’s account on Joseph (Mt. 1:18-24), an important person in the story of the first Advent. Aside from providing the link of Jesus to the royal line of David, thus fulfilling the prophecies, his life in obedience to God’s Will plays a pivotal role in the fulfillment of God’s plan.

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 22, 2013 (4AdvAC)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Mass Readings  
Podcast of the Readings 
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios 
Prayer of the Hours
BQ: How does Matthew let us know that Jesus is "Special?"

Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

First Reading

Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 7, Verses 10-14

1. “A virgin will bear a son and name him Emmanuel,” Isaiah said. How long do you think Jesus’ birth was in God’s plan? From the beginning of time? After Adam? If the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, was the plan from the beginning of time, what does that tell you about God?

2. God gave a sign to Ahaz, who hadn’t even asked for one. What about today? Does God give signs that aren’t requested? Give some examples. Do you think you ever miss any of God’s signs for you? Why?

Psalm 24: 1-6

1. The Psalm Response asks us, "Let the Lord enter; He is the king of glory." How do you prepare yourself during Advent so that the king of glory can enter your heart?

2. Our psalmist speaks of a people that seeks the Lord, that seeks the face of God. Describe what you are doing to seek out the Lord in your family and in your community.

Second Reading
Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 1-7

1. Paul says the gospel is about God’s Son descending from David. That puts Jesus, Son of God, in our history books. Whose responsibility is it to make sure Jesus is not just a name in the history books?

2. How do you become, like St. Paul, a “slave of Christ”? How does the “Spirit of holiness” come into your life? Name some ways that you can bring Christ into your work, home, parish, today.

According to Matthew, Chapter 1, Verses 18-24

1. List the obstacles God encountered as he brought Jesus into the world. Is anything obstacle-free? How can good come out of obstacles? Do you turn to God more often with problems or with joy?

2. “El” was an ancient word for God. It was used in the Hebrew name, Immanu’el, which meant literally, “God is with us.” What does “Emmanuel” say to you about your life now?
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Please share bewlow your reflections on the Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont9:47 PM

    This psalm is about our journey to a holy place.
    It is a place where we will meet the Lord.
    But we are asked in Verse 3,
    “Who may go up the mountain of the Lord?
    Who can stand in his holy place?”
    The Psalm is telling us to prepare to receive the Lord.
    This is what our Advent time is about as well –-
    preparing ourselves to receive the Lord.
    Just as St. Paul in our 2nd reading was made ready to receive
    “the grace of apostleship,”
    we too are called to open our hearts to the Lord.
    What must we do?
    We must cleanse our hearts.
    Verses 4 and 5 of the Psalm say,
    “The clean of hand and pure of heart …
    will receive the blessings of the Lord.”
    The Psalm calls for the coming of the Lord’s kingdom,
    just as the Gospel calls for the birth of Jesus.
    Who will enter his kingdom?
    Verse 6 concludes that those who
    love the Lord and those who seek
    God's face will receive their reward
    from God our savior.