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Master·evangeli.net

Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Fourth Sunday of Advent (A)

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Gospel text (Mt 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.”

Only God is Jesus’ "Father" in the proper sense

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, in the subsequent story to the conception of Jesus, Matthew tells us that Joseph was not the father of Jesus, and that he wanted to dismiss Mary on account of her supposed adultery. It was then when he was told that what is conceived in Mary is from the Holy Spirit (cf. Mt 1:20). This implies a new approach to the entire genealogy.

However, the genealogy is still important: Joseph is the legal father of Jesus. Through him He belongs by law, "legally", to the house of David. And, yet, He comes from elsewhere, “from above ", from God Himself. The mystery of His 'provenance', His dual origin, confronts us quite concretely: His origin can be named and yet it is a mystery. Only God is truly His "Father" in its true meaning.

-The human genealogy has certain significance in terms of world history. And yet in the end it is Mary, the lowly virgin from Nazareth, in whom a new beginning takes place, in whom human existence starts afresh.