Is 7: 10-14 Isaiah promises relief to a besieged Jerusalem within the next nine months. This is the literal meaning of the text we read here. It is only later that Matthew and the Fathers of the Church are able to see within this prophecy a hint or understanding of the future coming of the Messiah. As we reflect upon Old Testament Scriptures that promise a Messiah it is important that we understand the literal meaning of the text as well as this can help us in further understanding the role or person of the Messiah. Here we can draw the image of the Messiah, Jesus, freeing humanity from the besieging armies of sin through his salvific work.

Jesus, you are the Messiah who has conquered the powers of sin and death. Help me to understand the truth of this and to live it better each day of my life.

Rom 1: 1-7 Paul always begins his letters with a greeting. There is something to be said for the articles of etiquette that place a high value on respect. It is essential that society not lose the art of etiquette and respect because it will help us honor the human dignity of each person. Respect is one of the first aspects to disappear in an uncivilized society – let us ensure that we do our best to maintain it in our families and communities.

Jesus, you always had respect for your elders even when you challenged their understanding of faith in God. Help me to be like you in this.

Mt 1: 18-24 The birth of Jesus marks a new era in history where we can say that one of us is God! The Incarnation reminds us of the dignity we all have as human persons and thus of our responsibility to respect one another. Let us always seek to discover new ways of respecting and helping one another whenever we can and so build up the Body of Christ by affirming and supporting one another in a Christian lives and ministries.

Jesus, it would be a shame if the world forgets the fact of your Incarnation. Your respect for our humanity led you to assume it in order to redeem it. Let me never forget this truth.