1st Reading

Living according to the Gospel enables us to live in justice. Jesus commands us to love God and our neighbor, resulting in social justice—care and concern for one another. Jesus reminds us to share what we have with others; He teaches that this is our duty and not just an expression of generosity. God does not condemn some to a life of poverty and others to one of affluence. The disparity in lifestyles is a challenge to the wealthy to bring comfort to the poor.

Jeremiah 23:5-8 

5 Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; as king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security. This is the name they give him: “The Lord our justice.” 7 Therefore, the days will come, says the Lord, when they shall no longer say, “As the Lord lives, who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;” 8 but rather, “As the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of the house of Israel up from the land of the north”—and from all the lands to which I banished them; they shall again live on their own land.


Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19

R: Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace forever.

1 O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king’s son; 2 he shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment. (R) 12 For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. 13 He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save. (R) 18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds. 19 And blessed forever be his glorious name; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. (R) 


The Cappadocian Fathers (Gregory of Nyssa, Basil of Caesarea, and Gregory Nazianzen) would go a step further and say, “God is one of us!” This is extraordinary, yet a simple way of describing the incarnation of Jesus. It is not easy to accept the love of God, but it’s hard to reject it when it comes in the person of Jesus. The abstract concept of love is powerful when shown in a life of service as Jesus has done.


O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai; come to rescue us with your mighty power.

Matthew 1:18-25

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. 20 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. 21 She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” 24 When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. 25 He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.