Fourth Sunday of Advent

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Fourth Sunday of Advent⎪December 22, 2013en FrançaisPDF

If you were unable to catch the Vespers service last Sunday, you can still watch it by clicking here.

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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 conceive 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.

Matthew 1:18-24

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Today Matthew’s gospel reveals to us the tensions and the disturbing thoughts of Joseph, Mary’s husband. Through an angel in a dream, Joseph receives from God a message that marks a turning point in God’s plan of salvation: Joseph is chosen to be foster father of Jesus, the Christ. Mary has conceived a child through the power of the Holy Spirit, a child destined to redeem humanity from its sinfulness. With Mary and Jesus, Joseph will be head of the household of the Holy Family of Bethlehem and of Nazareth, the model of all Christian families.

In the preamble of our Charism statement we read: “We Xaverian Brothers, associates, and collaborators are a true religious family, striving to fulfill the spiritual aspirations that Theodore James Ryken had for his Congregation.” As in the gospel reading of today, our founder, like St. Joseph, received as a gift of the Holy Spirit our Charism, and from that point on he established a special union with God in a religious family that would help to nurture that gift of the Holy Spirit. That special union, the special bond with God, has been nourished and embraced across the history of the Congregation by its members, who each day strive to fulfill the spiritual aspirations, the spiritual desires, that Theodore James Ryken had for the congregation he founded. We remain as a true family of God, since God Himself, Emmanuel, has remained with us through our entire history. We have no need to ask for a sign, for we already are a great sign to the world: we are a true religious family and God is with us.

– Brother Raphael Wanjala

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1. In what way(s) have we tried to nourish our true religious family since the 27th General Chapter?

2. How do we envision this special union or bond to grow in the next six years?

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