O come, O come, Emmanuel, who ransomed captive Israel…

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Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe)– With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  7 Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.  (Isaiah 7:14)

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And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”  (Luke 1:28)

Observation:  The following is the footnote from the New American Bible for the first verse that I chose to journal on from the first reading for today’s Mass readings.  [14] The sign proposed by Isaiah was concerned with the preservation of Judah in the midst of distress (cf Isaiah 7:15, 17), but more especially with the fulfillment of God’s earlier promise to David (2 Sam 7:12-16) in the coming of Immanuel (meaning, “With us is God”) as the ideal king (cf Isaiah 9:5-6; 11:1-5). The Church has always followed St. Matthew in seeing the transcendent fulfillment of this verse in Christ and his Virgin Mother. The prophet need not have known the full force latent in his own words; and some Catholic writers have sought a preliminary and partial fulfillment in the conception and birth of the future King Hezekiah, whose mother, at the time Isaiah spoke, would have been a young, unmarried woman (Hebrew, almah). The Holy Spirit was preparing, however, for another Nativity which alone could fulfill the divinely given terms of Immanuel’s mission, and in which the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God was to fulfill also the words of this prophecy in the integral sense intended by the divine Wisdom.  The second verse that I chose from the Gospel reading from Luke today pretty much speaks for itself, and in my opinion spells out the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.

Application:  Joy – The ability to celebrate life even in the midst of pain and confusion.  The reason I chose to focus on the fruit of joy today is because we are in the season of Lent and even though the people of the Church are in this season of preparation and repentance, we can still be full of joy in our hearts that Jesus has saved us from our sinfulness and will continue to do so to everyone who comes to him in faith.

Prayer:  Virgin Mother of our Lord Jesus, pray that I will stay true to our Lord and keep me forever faithful to his Word.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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