FIRST READING 
“I will raise up for David” a righteous Branch.”
A reading from the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice  and righteousness  in the  land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when men shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”


The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm72:1-2.12-13.18-19 (R.see7)
R/. In his days shall justice flourish, and great peace forever.

O God, give your judgement to the king,
to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice,
and your poor in right judgement. R.

For he shall save the needy when they cry,
the poor, and those who are helpless.
He will have pity on the weak and the needy,
and save the lives of the needy. R.

Blest be the Lord, God of Israel,
Who alone works wonders,
Ever blest his glorious name.
Let his glory fill the earth. Amen! Amen! R.

ALLELUIA
Alleluia. Alleluia. O Leader of the house of Israel! You gave the law to Moses son Sinai: come and redeem us with an outstretched arm. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
Jesus was born of Mary, the betrothed of Joseph, a son of David
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 1:18-24)

The birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.


The Gospel of the Lord

Today’s Reflection 

The prophet Jeremiah was speaking to a people who no longer found meaning in God and in their religious worship because evil kings have been misleading them. So after his oracles against the kings (Jer 22:10-30), Jeremiah gave the people a message of hope that God was going to raise a new king from the house of David who will lead the people in wisdom, justice and righteousness. Are you also waiting for the Lord’s coming? Are you waiting in righteousness? Are you ready to let go of any deal of darkness? May the Lord give you the grace to uphold righteousness and shun darkness now and forever. May he also give you hope when things seem not to be falling into their rightful place in your life. Amen

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