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Son of David

GOSPEL: Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a [or Lk 2:41-51a]

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now 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.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

In the Gospel, the only one called by the title “son of David” other than Jesus is Joseph. “Son of David” is a messianic title, based on the promises of God by the mouth of Nathan the prophet: God would raise up a son after David and establish the throne of his kingdom forever; God would be a father to this king and the king would be God’s son (2 Sm 7:8-17). Sonship here has a sense of adoption.

The angel tells Joseph to name the child Jesus. By this action, Joseph acknowledges him as his own. By exercising the father’s right to name the child, Joseph acknowledges Jesus and thus becomes the legal father of Jesus. Legal paternity is not an easy concept among us, but among Semites it is real paternity. Joseph is not just a “foster father” of Jesus in the sense that he adopts him as his own. He is the “legal father,” with rights bestowed by the Law of Moses, inasmuch as he acknowledges Jesus as his legitimate son.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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Written by Tempo Desk

Tempo 19 March 2021, Friday issue

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