mary incarnation

Our reading for the last Sunday in Advent for this A Cycle of the Liturgical Calendar comes from Matthew 1:18-24, and concerns the Holy Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

    All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

Have you ever been extremely shocked by a sudden or surprise event or by hearing some unexpected news? If you have, more than likely, immediately following the event you asked yourself, ‘Ok, what just happened?’ Basically, that is our way of trying to process through the situation and transition into what we need to do next.

Life is all about transitions, and the everyday is full of hundreds of them that we need to work through. For many of us, transitioning through the day is about just trying to get from one place to the next; finding the next right thing to do; locating and preparing the next meal to eat. For others, transitioning through the day is about trying to breathe one more breath or trying to find a warm place to sleep at night. Then, every now and then, usually right when we think we have this life thing all figured out, God shocks us with the call to do the unexpected. As in the case of Joseph of Nazareth, when the unexpected happens it is oftentimes God’s way of calling us to do the unexpected.

Scripture is full of people who questioned God after they were called by Him to do something unexpected, but Joseph breaks that mold. In the Catholic Church one of the descriptors we call Joseph is ‘Most Obedient’, but perhaps even an more befitting title would be ‘Joseph – Model of Transitioning’. For, Joseph hears the call of God and follows it without question or hesitation. Now, this is not the say that asking questions isn’t a good thing – definitely not. On the contrary, what I am saying is that there is an example of obedience that we find in Saint Joseph that is worthy to be imitated.

Another beautiful thing that we find in God’s call of Saint Joseph is that when God calls us to do the unexpected, what He is doing is directing us to be someone’s advent; meaning that His sending of us is also our coming into someone else’s life to make it better.

As we prepare ourselves for the celebration of the ultimate Advent; that is, the coming of God into the world as a small infant, we should also take this time to reflect on our own lives and discern who God is calling us to be advent for right now. We should ask ourselves, ‘Whose life is God calling me into to make it better?’ ‘What is it that I really don’t feel like doing, but know that God desires me to do?’

Indeed, let us listen for those unexpected calls of God and promptly and prayerfully transition into them for His Glory.

PRAYER FOR ADVENT
Jesus, I await your coming.
Your coming into my heart,
into my life,
into my family
into my job,
into my finances,
into my awaking, my resting, and my sleeping.
Into all of my comings and my goings.
Come Jesus, Come Jesus, Come Jesus.
All that I have is yours.
Remove from my life what grieves you, heal in my life what pains you,
and bless in my life what glorifies your Holy Name.
Come Jesus.
Amen.

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Scripture texts in this blog are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.