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December 18, Sunday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Daily readings: 1st Reading Isaiah 7:10-14, 2nd reading Romas 1:1-7; Gospel Matthew 1:18-24

According to this Gospel story, Mary is pregnant with a child, but not by her biological father, Joseph. It is said that she conceived through the Holy Spirit. Generally, a man will feel tarnished by his pride if his future wife turns out to be pregnant with someone else. This would definitely be an extremely disgraceful situation.

But in the story of Jesus' birth according to Matthew, Joseph shows a different side; he doesn't want Mary to be embarrassed. Jewish tradition says that Mary would have been put to death if many people had found out about this shame. So Joseph wanted to divorce Mary secretly so that only he would accept this mistake.

By divorcing Mary secretly, only Joseph would be blamed, and Mary would still live. Joseph actually wanted to save Mary from punishment, and he made sacrifices so that she would survive.

In our lives, we often feel entitled to give punishment to people who have hurt us. We feel that person deserves God's punishment.

In this digital age, people are often willing to post about other people's shame or even their own shame on social media in order to get the sympathy of many people.

Joseph is humble because he is willing to forgive and is also willing to give up things for the safety of others, an attitude that is very rare and surprising. This should be emulated as the attitude of believers who care about safety, not selfishness.

This Advent III Sunday is Gaudete Sunday, which means "rejoice." We are invited to wait for the coming of the Lord with joy. Therefore, it is necessary to cultivate perseverance and patience in preparing, like Joseph, who is diligent and patient in dealing with all things in life. Joseph always put the safety of others before himself.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.