Sunday, December 18, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 1:18-24

Fourth Sunday of Advent - Matthew 1:18-24

The Gospel reading for this Fourth Sunday of Advent narrates “how the birth of Jesus came about.”  As we know, Mary was engaged to Joseph.  However, before they lived together, Mary found that she was with child “through the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Now, how many people would believe that outlandish tale?)  Joseph was a good man; yet these circumstances were far beyond believable.  Nothing like this had ever happened before.  Thus, Joseph finally decided to quietly divorce Mary.  He did not want to shame her in their community.  

However, in a dream an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph.  The angel said to him: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.  This child was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  She will have a son and you are to name him Jesus; He will save his people from their sins”.  These words were spoken to fulfill what God had said through the prophet: “The virgin shall be with child and give birth to a son, and they shall call Him Emmanuel, (a name which means “God is with us”).  

Matthew does not say how Joseph initially responded to the angel’s words.  However, when Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had directed him and he took Mary into his home.  He was a loving husband and father.  Joseph truly was a man of God!  He trusted God.  Let us pray to have the faith and trust in God as Joseph did.  What a wonderful example he is for us when life gets turned upside down.  When this happens let us pray to Joseph!

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