Fourth Sunday of Advent
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 1,18-24.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us."
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.
As we light this fourth Advent candle, we remember the Virgin Mary, and her humble faith that made her fit to be the mother of the Messiah:
Let us pray. Give us, O Lord, that same simple faith that Mary had, so you can use us for whatever purpose you plan for us. May we always be available to you, ready to serve you; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus came to us as a light for a darkened world. And he told us that we, too, were to be lights for the world. As we light the Christ Candle, let us remember that we are called to be light, reflecting the greater glory of the Son of God.
Let us pray. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of light, shining upon us in the face of Jesus our Savior. May the light of Christ shine brightly in our hearts, guiding us through life and leading us to your truth; through Christ our Lord. Amen.