Gospel of the day

Monday December 18, 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 1:18-24.

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. 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.


Commentary Saint Bede the Venerable
The name “Jesus” in Hebrew means “salvation” or “Savior”. It is a name that for the prophets referred to a very specific vocation. From whence came these words, sung with great desire to see him: “My heart will rejoice in your salvation and will be joyful because of his salvation; my soul pines for your salvation” (Ps 12[13]:6 ;34[35]:9 ;118[119]:81). “Yet will I rejoice in the Lord and exult in my saving God” (Hab 3:18). And especially: “O God, by your name save me” (Ps 53[54]:3). It is as though one were to say: “O you who are called ‘Savior’, by saving me manifest the glory of your name.” And so the name of the son born of the Virgin Mary is Jesus, according to the angel’s explanation: “He will save his people from their sins”… As for the word “Christ”, this designates priestly or royal status. Priests and kings were in fact “chrismated”, that is to say anointed with holy oil. By this means they became signs of him who, appearing in the world as true king and high priest, received the anointing of “the oil of gladness above your fellows” (Ps 44[45]:8). It is because of this anointing that he is called Christ and those who share in this same anointing, that of spiritual grace, are called Christians. May he grant through his name of Savior to save us from our sins! May he grant through his anointing as high priest to reconcile us with God the Father. Through his anointing as king may he give us the eternal kingdom of his Father.