Today’s Reading: Matthew 1:18-25

18 Now 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; 19 and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. 20 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; 21 she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us).

24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.

Today’s Commentary

Behold, a virgin: The first of several “formula-quotations” in Matthew (2:6, 15, 18, 23). Here the citation is from Is 7:14 of the Greek OT. Matthew interprets it with reference to Mary (virgin) and Jesus (son). Isaiah 7:14 initially prophesied the birth of King Hezekiah, who rescued Israel from many evils (2 Kings 18:1-6). Matthew sees a deeper level of fulfillment here, where the absence of a human father in the prophecy points to the virginal conception of the Messiah (CCC 497). The name God with us is most perfectly fulfilled in Jesus’ Incarnation, where his ongoing presence in the world is both ecclesial (18:20; 28:20) and eucharistic (26:26).
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