Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 22, 2019, Year A

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Full lections can be read here.


Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 7:10-16)

Challenged by two attacking armies, King Ahaz hesitates to ask the Lord for a sign confirming Isaiah’s prophecy of victory. The Lord provides a sign anyway: soon after a young woman bears a special son named “Emmanuel”, Judah will be delivered.

Psalm (80:1-7, 17-19)

The Psalm is a plea to the Shepherd of Israel to put aside his anger with his sheep and restore them. The Psalmist asks that God’s right-hand man lead them to salvation and faithfulness. They will come back to life as the face of the Lord shines upon them.

Second Reading (Romans 1:1-7)

Paul reminds the Romans of his call to be an apostle to Gentiles such as them. While the Gospel was promised in the Jewish prophecies about their Messiah, grace has now been extended to all. Jesus’ resurrection has declared him Son of God and universal Lord.

Gospel (Matthew 1:18-25)

Joseph is directed by an angel to go through with his engagement to Mary because she is with child through the Holy Spirit. Her son is to be named Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins and, we are told, this is the fulfillment of the Emmanuel promise.


  • God of salvation is with us
  • Israel’s expectations of restoration looked to God to provide a saviour from amongst them
  • God’s own Son bears the promise and reality of resurrection
  • God’s salvation often arrives in an unexpected manner and usually exceeds all expectation