Joseph  is the Man
Malvern Minute

 

December 18, 2017   Monday of the Third Week of Advent

O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai; come to rescue us with your mighty power! Alleluia, alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (1:18-25)

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.” 
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.” 
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home. 

He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.

Reflect: Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. Faced with the challenging and heart wrenching circumstances of life, Joseph was ready to take the “necessary” but respectful action of divorcing Mary quietly so as not to shame her. Being a righteous man, however, his heart was always disposed to act according to the will of God. An angel appears to him to reassure him and to direct his mind and actions in another direction. Very easily, Joseph could have stood behind the law and justified his decision to divorce Mary; but the power of God was already intervening in extraordinary ways. Jesus, “God is with us,” needed an earthly father who was always ready to listen and respond to the heavenly Father. Joseph showed that he was the man. So God continues to intervene powerfully in our world. We are spending these final days of Advent trying to prepare our hearts and minds to be disposed to always to attentive to the presence and will of God in our lives. Each one of us has a special role given our condition in life, and God wants to use us to reveal his presence in the world. Let’s ask the intercession of Joseph that we might have the courage, wisdom, and prudence to always act according to God’s will, not our own. As much as Joseph was the right man for Jesus, so also are we called to be the right men and women for God in the world today.

Questions: Do I let fear creep in when I believe God is asking me to step up and act or speak according to his will? Do I try to be faithful to God in the little things of daily life so that I might be in tune with his will when I’m faced with bigger decisions? During these final days of Advent can I pray in earnest for the grace to always cooperate with God’s will even when the world is telling me that to act in other ways is acceptable?

Pray: Loving God, your will is the perfect way that our world needs today. Instill in me the grace to trust you, and to be obedient to your ways so that I might not only be freed from the lies of a sinful world, but that I might also be an instrument of your presence in a world that longs to know you.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.                                                                               

His name will be called Emmanuel, which means God-with-us.


ENCOUNTERING DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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