Readings for December 22, 2019
The Fourth Sunday of Advent
Those who know me can attest, I am not the kind of person who can “just roll with it.” If I have a picture in my head of how something is going to be, and someone changes it, I am generally left frustrated and sometimes even express a tiny, tiny bit of anger.
So if, for example, I was betrothed to a woman whom I loved, I might have a picture in my head that we would have our marriage ceremony, live happily together, and then maybe have a baby. So if she told me she was pregnant and an angel told her it was going to happen, “fear” admittedly would not have been my first reaction. And any angel who told me, “do not be afraid” would get an earful. Afraid? Probably. But first and foremost I imagine I would feel surprised, ashamed, betrayed, and maybe just a tiny, tiny bit angry.
St. Joseph, on the other hand, slays me in this category. As a good man, one who truly cared for his betrothed and did not wish to embarrass or shame her, he “decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention.” He handled this new turn of events with grace and good intentions and he made a new plan.
Then he had the angel dream.
While I would have spent a good deal of time questioning–perhaps interrogating–the angel, the simple words spoken to him were enough for Joseph to say, “I’m good with it,” and gracefully accept yet another new plan. This plan, however, was going to stick, because it did not come from Joseph, or any human. This plan stuck because it came from God. And, quite simply, Joseph trusted God.
And the rest, as they say, is salvation history.
O God, in Your ineffable providence you were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Your most holy Mother. Grant, we beg You, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector. Through Christ our Lord. Amen (from the Litany of St. Joseph)