…. and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The only very-white Christmas I can remember growing up in New Jersey was when I was about 15. My Catholic mother wanted to visit her ailing mother who lived what was usually an hour away; my Jewish dad said OK and he white-knuckled it up the Turnpike throughout what turned into a two or three-hour journey. After the visit, around 10pm, we returned to our minivan outside and noticed someone had slashed two of the tires. Ugh. We borrowed an old car that hadn’t been driven in months and inched our way back home. I remember sitting in the backseat and realizing my dad went through all this stress for my mom on a decidedly not-Jewish holiday without complaining once. It was a powerful example of sacrificial, quiet, steady love. I always think about this story when I think about St. Joseph, another Jewish father who did the right thing in a tough situation with grace and fidelity.
Gentle Joseph, God is captivated by the
quality of your heart. Your entire being is
focused on doing his will. With Mary and Jesus,
you answer the Holy Spirit’s call to build a better world.
With one heart, we join you in saying:
“Here we are, Lord, your will be done!
Your kingdom come nearer to us!”
Keep the hope of a new world alive in our hearts.
Inspire us to speak words of tenderness to awaken
the love of hearts.
May we draw the energy for our actions from the source
of all Love so our faces may shine with the freedom
of the children of God.
—St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, MontrealPlease share the Good Word with your friends!