3rd Week of Advent
Understanding one particular aspect of the Nativity narrative -- how Joseph handled what must have been a genuine surprise when he learned that Mary was pregnant and they were only engaged! -- may be a surprise to younger generations. Sexual relations between unmarried people: "happens every day (or night!)" we say or hear. We cannot overlook the seriousness of this situation in the times of Mary and Joseph. Joseph could have brought Mary before judicial system. The penalty? Death. Joseph, however, was further challenged by the appearance and message of a heavenly body telling him of a reality even more difficult to understand. What trust and openness he must have had. We know so little about this very special man. Wouldn't a modern-day news conference be extraordinary! How did this man come to accept this young girl as his wife even though pregnant -- but not with his child?
imagine two young people visited by angels with unbelievable requests: how challenging were the angelic requests: be the mother of God's son and take Mary as your wife!
Advent is a time that puts before us the time to examine our own openness to the "challenges" or "missions" that God asks of us. Surely angels with wings do not come to us -- at least CNN, Fox News or CSNBC have not reported such events. However, we can ask ourselves "Are we open to the "human angels" God uses to instill in our lives what His will is for us?" "What human angels?" Advent is a good time to consider if I am open to God's will -- as Joseph and Mary were. It is a time to consider what events and what people God has chosen to speak for him to us. Take some time today and throughout the remaining week of Advent to look at the roadway of your life's journey: is there a family member, a close friend, a colleague at work, the death of a loved one or dear friend, the loss of a job etc. etc. who or that is God's messenger to you? Another person who has influential powers we seem to overlook in our world are the Deacons, Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and even the Pope who preach daily or frequently from our pulpits. These men are also God's special messengers through the thoughts and pictures painted in their sermons.
Are you open to God's message, his call? Stop for a few moments to ask if there seems to be a situation or a person whose words are impacting your life or at least your thinking. How is this person being a God-sent angel to help you along the pathway God has laid out for you?