Matthew 1: 18-24

This is how Jesus Christ was born. A young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph  from King David’s family.

But before they were married, she learned that she was going to have a baby by God’s Holy Spirit.  Joseph was a good man and did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to quietly call off the wedding.

While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will  have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.”

After Joseph woke up, he and Mary were soon married, just as the Lord’s angel had told him to do.

Gospel Reflection

Today’s Gospel tells us “how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.”

Through the Holy Spirit, Mary will bear a son and He will save his people from their sins.

All of us should be very happy to hear this because when Jesus saves us from sin, we are saved from what harms us. Sin leads us away from God and away from truly loving other people. While sin may seem good at the time, it actually leads us to loneliness and unhappiness in the end. This is why we are happy to hear the Gospel today, to know that Jesus came to earth to bring us true joy and happiness.

We can find this happiness each time we choose what is good instead of what is bad. When we choose what is good, we are living a life of true freedom as disciples of Christ. To believe takes God’s gift of faith. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is an excellent example for us of someone who practiced faith. She believes that Jesus has the power to free us from sin and lead us to true greatness.

Let us ask God, with Mary, for the virtue of faith so that we may know God and all He has revealed.