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Advent Weekday on December 18

Daily Mass Readings for an Advent Weekday on December 18

  • First ReadingJeremiah 23:5-8: The Lord announces a future king, a descendant of David, who will rule wisely and bring justice. Under his reign, Judah and Israel will be safe and honor the Lord as their justice.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 72; Prayers for the king to embody God’s justice, ruling with fairness and compassion, especially for the poor and needy. Praise to God, whose glory and miraculous works fill the earth.
  • Gospel Matthew 1:18-25: Before Mary and Joseph cohabitated, Mary was divinely impregnated. Joseph, a just man, planned to discreetly divorce her but was instructed by an angel in a dream to accept her. The angel explained the Holy Spirit’s role in the conception and the child’s destiny to save people from sins. This fulfilled the prophecy of Emmanuel, “God with us.” Obediently, Joseph took Mary as his wife, naming the child Jesus.

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.

Matthew 1:20-21

Themes for the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 18

  • Messiah as a Just King: Jeremiah’s prophecy about a future king from David’s line who will bring justice and safety symbolizes the Messiah. This theme invites reflection on Jesus as the fulfillment of this prophecy, embodying true justice and wisdom.
  • Prayer for Righteous Leadership: Psalm 72’s prayers for the king to rule with fairness and compassion, particularly towards the poor and needy, resonate with the qualities of Christ’s reign. It underscores the importance of godly leadership and justice in society.
  • Divine Intervention and Fulfillment of Prophecy: The Gospel account of Mary’s divine conception and Joseph’s obedience highlights God’s direct intervention in human history. This event fulfills the prophecy of Emmanuel, illustrating that God’s promises are trustworthy and manifest in unexpected ways.
  • Joseph’s Righteousness and Obedience: Joseph’s response to Mary’s pregnancy, initially planning a discreet divorce and then obeying the angel’s instruction, showcases his righteousness and obedience to God’s will. This theme encourages faithfulness and trust in God’s guidance, even in confusing or challenging circumstances.
  • Emmanuel – God with Us: The name Emmanuel, meaning “God with us,” encapsulates the essence of the Advent season and the incarnation. It invites believers to contemplate the profound mystery of God becoming human and dwelling among us.
  • Preparation for the Coming Savior: These readings collectively focus on preparing for Jesus, the Savior who brings justice, fulfills prophecy, and embodies God’s presence with humanity. They invite a deepening of faith and commitment to living out the justice and compassion that Jesus exemplifies.

Thoughts for an Advent Weekday on December 18

On an Advent weekday on December 18, the readings bring a profound sense of anticipation and fulfillment of God’s promises. The Gospel reading from Matthew 1:18-25 focuses on the miraculous conception of Jesus and Joseph’s role in this divine plan. This narrative is a cornerstone of the Advent message, highlighting the mystery and wonder of the Incarnation. Joseph’s initial plan to quietly divorce Mary upon learning of her pregnancy reflects his righteousness and compassion, avoiding public shame for her. However, his encounter with the angel in a dream reveals a deeper call to faith and obedience.

The angel’s message not only reassures Joseph but also unfolds the divine purpose behind Mary’s pregnancy. This passage invites us to reflect on our own responses to God’s unexpected interventions in our lives. Like Joseph, are we open to embracing God’s plans, even when they disrupt our own? His example challenges us to trust and obey God, especially when His ways are beyond our understanding.

The Gospel also emphasizes the fulfillment of prophecy, with the child to be named Jesus, meaning ‘God saves,’ and referred to as Emmanuel, ‘God with us.’ This fulfillment is not just a historical note but a profound revelation of God’s faithfulness and presence.

In Advent, as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth, we are reminded that God’s promises are true and that He is indeed with us in every circumstance. The name Emmanuel encapsulates the essence of the Christmas story and the Christian faith: God, in His great love and mercy, chose to become one of us, to live among us, and to save us from our sins. This revelation calls us to a renewed sense of wonder and gratitude for the gift of Jesus, who bridges the gap between humanity and the divine.

The First Reading from Jeremiah and the Responsorial Psalm beautifully complement the Gospel, depicting the anticipation of a righteous king, a descendant of David, who will embody God’s justice and compassion. This prophetic vision finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus, the king who rules not just with power, but with humility, justice, and a preferential love for the poor and marginalized.

As we approach the celebration of Christmas, these readings collectively urge us to embrace Jesus’ model of leadership and service. They call us to not only rejoice in the coming of Jesus but also to reflect His justice, compassion, and love in our interactions with others. In this way, we not only prepare our hearts for the celebration of His birth but also participate in the unfolding of His kingdom here and now.

Prayer

Father, open my ears and my mind to hear your Word. Let me welcome your son into my life, even when the future is uncertain. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for an Advent Weekday on December 18

Word on Fire: The King Is Coming

In Bishop Barron’s reflection on the Gospel for an Advent weekday on December 18, he contemplates the profound and somewhat humorous nature of the Incarnation. He emphasizes Christianity’s core belief: God, the creator of the universe, becoming human. The divine becomes a vulnerable baby in Bethlehem, a modest town far from the world’s great centers of power. Barron highlights the irony in God’s choice of such an unassuming place for the Incarnation, a contrast that has both confounded and amused skeptics and believers alike. He refers to G.K. Chesterton’s observation that this ‘sacred joke’ has the power to touch even the most skeptical heart, a testament to the enduring joy and wonder it inspires among Christians.

Frequently Asked Questions for an Advent Weekday on December 18

What day of the week is an Advent Weekday on December 18?

The next date is Wednesday December 18, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for an Advent Weekday on December 18?

The Mass readings for Wednesday December 18, 2024 are:
First Reading – Jeremiah 23:5-8: Promise of a Righteous King
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 72; Reign of Just Leadership
Gospel – Matthew 1:18-25: Jesus’ Birth Foretold

What is the significance of the first reading for an Advent Weekday on December 18?

Jeremiah 23:5-8 prophesies about a righteous descendant of David who will bring justice and safety. In Advent, this is seen as a prophecy about Jesus Christ, who fulfills these promises as the just and wise King, bringing salvation and embodying divine justice.

How can the ideals of justice and righteousness in the first reading for an Advent Weekday on December 18 be applied in our daily lives?

Reflect on embodying justice and righteousness in personal actions, relationships, and community involvement. Consider advocating for the marginalized and striving for fairness in all dealings.

What is the contemporary relevance of the prophecy about a future king bringing justice in the first reading for an Advent Weekday on December 18?

Jeremiah 23:5-8 prompts reflection on the need for righteous leadership in today’s world and inspires individuals to seek and promote justice in their spheres of influence.

How does the responsorial psalm for an Advent Weekday on December 18 relate?

Psalm 72’s prayers for the king to rule with God’s justice and compassion reflect the qualities of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. During Advent, this Psalm enhances the focus on Christ as a ruler who cares for the needy and embodies God’s righteousness.

What does the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 18 signify?

Matthew 1:18-25 narrates the divine conception of Jesus and Joseph’s faithful response. It highlights the fulfillment of prophecy and the incarnation of God as Emmanuel. During Advent, it reminds believers of the miraculous nature of Jesus’ birth and His mission to save humanity.

What does the name Emmanuel (“God with us”) in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 18 reveal about Jesus’ role and identity?

Emmanuel underscores the incarnation concept – God becoming human to be intimately involved in our lives, bridging the divine and human.

How can Joseph’s response to the angel’s message in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 18 inspire us?

Joseph’s obedient and just response to the angel’s message serves as a model of faith and trust in God’s plan. During Advent, Matthew 1:18-25 inspires believers to listen for God’s guidance in their lives and respond with faith and obedience.

What is the lesson from the angel’s explanation to Joseph in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 18?

In Matthew 1:18-25, the angel’s explanation to Joseph about the Holy Spirit’s role in Jesus’ conception and His mission to save people from sins teaches about divine intervention and fulfillment of God’s promises. It challenges believers to trust in God’s mysterious but purposeful actions.

What lessons can we learn from the obedience of Joseph and Mary in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 18?

Their example teaches the value of trusting God’s guidance, even when it challenges our expectations or societal norms.

In what ways does the narrative of Jesus’ birth in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 18 challenge our perceptions of power and leadership?

The humility and simplicity of Jesus’ birth in Matthew 1:18-25 contrast with traditional views of power, emphasizing servanthood, humility, and love as true leadership qualities.

What overarching message do these readings offer for an Advent Weekday on December 18?

These readings collectively emphasize the fulfillment of prophecy, divine intervention, and the coming of a just and compassionate ruler in Jesus. They encourage believers to reflect on the miraculous nature of Christ’s birth and His role as a savior during the season of Advent.

How can the themes of Advent – waiting, preparation, hope – be seen in these readings for an Advent Weekday on December 18?

The readings collectively emphasize waiting for God’s promises (Jeremiah), preparing hearts for righteous leadership (Psalm), and the hope fulfilled in Christ’s birth (Matthew).

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