Commentary on the Gospel of
Contemplating with Joseph
“When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.”
At this time of year, we are so focused on Mary and the Baby Jesus that we often overlook what a remarkably courageous figure Joseph was in responding to his mysterious call in a dream to take the pregnant Mary into his home as his wife.
I suspect that if I had a dream where an angel commanded me to do something similar that I would wake up thanking heaven that the message was only a dream. Yet the Christmas story would have had a very different outcome if St. Joseph had done the first century equivalent of taking two aspirin and moving on because Mary’s explanation of her situation was crazy. Joseph obviously had a lot more faith than most of us.
So what can we learn from his response to this call? While I’m no mystic, I think of the times when I have felt God calling me to do something important. For example, I sensed God’s hand at work in my life when I adopted my two children. I also felt God calling me to teach at Creighton as a vocation not just a job. I didn’t quite get it but after falling in love with Ignatian spirituality at Creighton, this intuition made perfect sense. St. Ignatius tells us that God is at work in our lives just as he was in Joseph’s.
Take a few minutes to reflect on your life to identify a time when God has called you to do something that has made all the difference. You just have to listen and act in faith when this happens even it the meaning is unclear.
What great gifts we have already received – and it’s still a week before we plow into the presents under our trees! Have a blessed Christmas and say a prayer thanking St. Joseph for showing us how to respond to calls from God.