In the fourth Sunday of Advent, the First Reading is from the Prophet Isaiah. We have the familiar story about the Prophet's confrontation with King Ahaz of Judah. Isaiah tells Ahaz to ask God for a sign so that God can show him that he is with him. Ahaz says he will not tempt the Lord. Even though Ahaz refuses to ask God for a sign, Isaiah says that God will give a sign: “The virgin will conceive a child and give him the name Emmanuel (God-with-us).” The essence of this story is that God's plan will triumph in spite of mankind's refusal to cooperate.
The Second Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Romans. In this opening passage and greeting, Saint Paul reminds them that Jesus is both human and divine. Jesus is “descended from David according to the flesh but established as the Son of God in power according to the Spirit.” Paul also reminds his readers of the ‘obedient faith’ or call to holiness to which all disciples of Jesus are summoned.
In the Gospel Reading from the Gospel of Matthew, the Virgin Mary and Joseph were obedient to God’s will, and desired to make him the center of their lives. Like hem, we are called to make our lives radically open to God and prepare a place for him in our own hearts. We are called to live out that which Jesus taught in the Gospels -our lives are meant to be filled by the fruits of a Christ-centered life.