Gospel MT 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.
There are many ways to read and pray on this gospel passage, and as many times as I do one phrase keeps sticking out: “Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of God appeared…”. Throughout our lives we have our own intentions and ways we want to do things and at times we have a divine intervention that leads us in a different path. Someone on our journey or a spark of creative energy in our mind that sends us in a different direction is not an accident – it is the work of our God. Through us and in us He is working. And what joy there is to know of the many ways God works in and through our lives. If only we could get out of the way more often and show greater faith in the power and mercy of our God. Joseph had other plans when it came to his relationship with Mary and one can only imagine the course of human destiny if a divine intervention did not take place. But it did – because God had a plan for Joseph as He has for each and every one of us. Let us pray for an openness to the direction God is taking us and yield to His power and mercy to take us where He wants us to go.
Today, pray this simple prayer – “Lord, I don’t know where I am going but with your wisdom and guidance I know you will take me there. Amen”
Rev. Fr. Jason Lody, FCM
Pastor – St. Anthony de Padua American National Catholic Church