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December 18, 2020

Mt 1: 18-25

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.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” 

When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

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.

Recognizing God’s voice

It’s impossible for us to know what Joseph’s understanding was when he found out that Mary was pregnant. Based on his tender desire not to expose her to public disgrace, it is clear, though, that he felt a loving protection toward her. Had they discussed in awe and wonder her visitation from the angel Gabriel but, since he wasn’t mentioned explicitly, did he humbly presume there was no place for him in this remarkable, unfolding story?

One of the great gifts of St. Ignatius is the assurance that God speaks to each one of us in uniquely personal ways, congruent with our history, our personality and our current situation. If we pay attention to the details of our lives, we can find God whispering there. This is not easy to do and is why discernment can be so challenging.  Joseph, who paid such careful attention that he was able to recognize God’s voice, even in a dream, is a great model for us. His recognition gave him the wisdom and courage he needed to pivot and follow God in a wholly unexpected way.

As I consider 2020, do I notice any signs of God drawing me more deeply toward new ways of living with tenderness and love?

—Jennifer Kelly is the Director of Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative Northwest, a work of the West Province and the Director of Formation for L’Arche Seattle.

 

Prayer

O God, bless the ordinary lives we lead. As you drew humble St. Joseph toward his vocation through his kind heart, faithful life and even his dreams, please help me to recognize your loving voice and action in the details of my life. May all I do be done with love. Amen.

—Jennifer Kelly


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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December 18, 2020

Mt 1: 18-25

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.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” 

When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

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.

Recognizing God’s voice

It’s impossible for us to know what Joseph’s understanding was when he found out that Mary was pregnant. Based on his tender desire not to expose her to public disgrace, it is clear, though, that he felt a loving protection toward her. Had they discussed in awe and wonder her visitation from the angel Gabriel but, since he wasn’t mentioned explicitly, did he humbly presume there was no place for him in this remarkable, unfolding story?

One of the great gifts of St. Ignatius is the assurance that God speaks to each one of us in uniquely personal ways, congruent with our history, our personality and our current situation. If we pay attention to the details of our lives, we can find God whispering there. This is not easy to do and is why discernment can be so challenging.  Joseph, who paid such careful attention that he was able to recognize God’s voice, even in a dream, is a great model for us. His recognition gave him the wisdom and courage he needed to pivot and follow God in a wholly unexpected way.

As I consider 2020, do I notice any signs of God drawing me more deeply toward new ways of living with tenderness and love?

—Jennifer Kelly is the Director of Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative Northwest, a work of the West Province and the Director of Formation for L’Arche Seattle.

 

Prayer

O God, bless the ordinary lives we lead. As you drew humble St. Joseph toward his vocation through his kind heart, faithful life and even his dreams, please help me to recognize your loving voice and action in the details of my life. May all I do be done with love. Amen.

—Jennifer Kelly


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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