Gospel for December 18, 2013 , Wednesday, 3rd Week of Advent

Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

Posted at Dec 18 2013 12:45 AM | Updated as of Dec 18 2013 08:48 AM

Psalter: Week 3

Ps 72:1–2, 12–13, 18–19
Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

1st Reading: Jer 23:5–8
Yahweh says, “The day is coming when I will raise up a king who is David’s righteous successor. He will rule wisely and govern with justice and righteousness. That will be a grandiose era when Judah will enjoy peace and Israel will live in safety. He will be called Yahweh-our-justice!”
“The days are coming,” says Yahweh, “when people shall no longer swear by Yahweh as the living God who freed the people of Israel from the land of Egypt. Rather, they will swear by Yahweh as the living God who restored the descendants of Israel from the northern empire and from all the lands where he had driven them, to live again in their own land!”

Gospel: Mt 1:18–25
This is how Jesus Christ was born. Mary his mother had been given to Joseph in marriage but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her.
While he was pondering over this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a son. You shall call him ‘Jesus’ for he will save his people from their sins.”
All this happened in order to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Emmanuel which means: God-with-us. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do and he took his wife to his home. So she gave birth to a son and he had not had marital relations with her. Joseph gave him the name of Jesus.

Reflection:
Joseph dreamed, woke up, and did as he was directed in the dream. Did he understand the meaning of whatever it was that was revealed in the dream? Quite unlikely. For who can understand the profound words, “[Your wife] has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a son. You shall call him ‘Jesus’ for he will save his people from their sins”? But it did not matter for Joseph that he didn’t fully grasp the mystery revealed to him. What mattered to him was that the message was God’s. If God wanted it, so be it. If Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word,” in all likelihood, Joseph whispered the same in his heart as well: “Behold the servant of the Lord, be it done unto me as you wish.”
St. Joseph, teach me the art of obeying God’s will even when I cannot make any sense out of it. Teach me to trust God’s plan for me as you and Mary did.

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