See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –
when I will raise a virtuous Branch for David,
who will reign as true king and be wise,
practising honesty and integrity in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel dwell in confidence.
And this is the name he will be called:
So, then, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when people will no longer say, “As the Lord lives who brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt!” but, “As the Lord lives who led back and brought home the descendants of the House of Israel out of the land of the North and from all the countries to which he had dispersed them, to live on their own soil.”
This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son
and they will call him Emmanuel,
a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home.
O Ruler of the House of Israel, who gave the law to Moses on Sinai, come and save us with outstretched arm
We live in a world where everything is instant and everything happens at breakneck speed. We want to ensure that we are able to accomplish whatever we have set out to do in the shortest period of time and there can be no idle moment for fear that we will lose out on the latest news. The readings of today remind us of the need to be less impatient and instead wait in prayer and anticipation for the unfolding of God’s plan.
Joseph certainly felt stressed when he heard of the news of Mary’s pregnancy before marriage. Yet he believed in what the angel said and decided to follow God’s plan despite the potential challenges it may bring. Sometimes our lives need to take a long pause and we need to ask ourselves what is the rush and sense of urgency in doing what we are called to do?
It took thousands of years before God’s promise to King David came into fulfilment and we should also accept that not all plans and decisions we make will have the intended outcome. Sometimes, it may take a longer time than necessary to get the outcome. Let us spend some time today to ask God to share with us what it means to trust in Him totally and to let Him take control of all our plans.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Lord, grant us patience to accept the things we cannot do.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who suffer without complaint.