Fourth Sunday of Advent,
December 18, 2022
St. Augustine Catholic Church
Behold the Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son:
They shall call his name Emmanuel, meaning God is with us (Matt. 1:28-24)
Dear Church Family,
In history, popular men and women have their beginnings and ends recorded for posterity to read, learn, and sometime imitate. Such was the case of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The synoptic Gospels, especially Matthew 1:28-24, narrate to us from today’s Gospel reading that his mother Mary was betrothed to a man called Joseph. But before they began to live together, Mary was already with child through the workings of the Holy Spirit. Her husband, Joseph, being a righteous man, was unwilling to expose her to shame and so decided to divorce her secretly. This was his intention when the angel of God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take your wife, Mary, into your home, for it was through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. He will be a son and you will name Him, Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Joseph accepted and obeyed this message and took his wife into his home.
What did we learn from this story and circumstances surrounding the conception of Jesus? It is the humility of Joseph to believe in God and to accept this message that came from Him. Hence, Joseph is called a humble and righteous man, “a wonderful virtue which many men in family situations cannot claim to have without the special grace of God to tolerate from the spouse”. Hence, Joseph is called the ‘patron of all families’. If it wasn’t for this special grace from God, Joseph, too, could have argued with the angel as to why he, too, was not informed along with his wife, to take the message of the conception of the child into the womb until now, after he had gone through some mental suffering and worries of conscience that could have resulted in divorce, shame, and possible stoning.
God has His way of dealing with us as humans. It is said that He could always write on crooked lines and they become straight. Praise be to Jesus, Amen.