Friday, December 18, 2015

Reflection: Matthew 1:18-25

Friday of the Third Week of Advent – Matthew 1:18-25

Today we hear in the Gospel how the birth of Jesus came about.  This is a story we have heard countless times.  There is the saying: “familiarity breeds contempt.”  In this case, familiarity with this Gospel may cause us to only hear the words and not take time to listen intently to the message of the Gospel.

Take a moment and put yourself in Mary’s place.  Imagine what thoughts and emotions Mary might have experienced given all that the angel had told her.  What would she say to her parents?  And what was she to tell Joseph?  The tale she had to tell was unbelievable!  

When Mary finally told Joseph that she was pregnant (by the Holy Spirit), I wonder how Joseph initially reacted?  What did he think of Mary?  Did he naturally think that she had been unfaithful to him?  What were the emotions he experienced: shock, anger, disbelief?  What was he to do?  

Then an angel of God appeared to Joseph in a dream.  Did Joseph think he was losing his mind?  Being human, Joseph had to have been overwhelmed and confused by all these strange happenings.   Yet despite the fantastic and unbelievable circumstances, Joseph had faith.  He had faith and trust in God and in Mary.  Joseph truly was a man of God.  

How do we react when we are confronted with circumstances that throw us off balance or situations that confound or frighten us?  Do we continue to trust in God?  Or do we walk away from God angry or despairing?  Regardless of how we react, our “God who is with us” never leaves our side.  Our loving God is with us every moment (even if we don’t “feel” God’s presence).  Just as God was with Joseph and Mary in this strange, difficult and confusing time, God also walks us.  And God graces and gifts us with the strength we need!  The question is: will we continue to believe and trust in our loving God?  I pray we will! 

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