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Full lections can be read here.
Based on the Readings as Set
First Reading (Isaiah 63:7-9)
In Isaiah’s day things are not looking good for Israel and he reminds the nation of the Lord’s many past gracious acts to their ancestors. Alluding to their escape from Egypt, he emphasizes that salvation was gained through God’s very Presence with them.
The Psalmist exhorts the inhabitants of the heavens and the creatures of the earth, animate and inanimate alike, to praise their creator Lord. He has provided a mighty leader for his people and is deserving of their unqualified adulation.
Second Reading (Hebrews 2:10-18)
The writer of Hebrews emphasizes that Jesus, as the pioneer of our salvation, has become one of us, sharing our flesh and blood and our experience. This makes him fit to be both the sacrifice for sin and the faithful high priest to offer it on our behalf.
Gospel (Matthew 2:13-23)
Matthew tells how, under the direct guidance of God’s angel each step of the way, the holy family escapes Herod’s grasp by going down to Egypt and later returns to Israel. He draws attention to how all this resonates with the ancient experience of the nation.
- The Lord is our protector and deliverer
- Jesus embodies the history of Israel’s great salvation out of Egypt
- The incarnation brings God fully into our reality and this brings us to God
- The birth of Jesus is the result of divine action that extends from creation itself: he is the last piece of the puzzle