Gospel – December 22, 2019 – Matthew 1:18-24
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.
Do you ever wonder about St Joseph? What must he have been thinking? He was a carpenter. Hard work and long hours and probably not much pay.
He had much greater ethics than his ancestor, King David. Some say he was a widower and we know he was older than Mary.
But the most ethical man – maybe ever – doesn’t have recorded word in the Gospels. He may as well have been a ghost. But he wasn’t.
He was an honest, hard working and God fearing man who very likely wasn’t rich – thus the stable and manger.
But as St John Chrysostom writes, “The rich man is not one who is in possession of much, but one who gives much.”
We are blessed today because a “rich man” brought a young pregnant woman into his home – because of a dream – and in a way purchased for us Salvation.
St Joseph I pray that you watch over us all – taking us all into your home as you did Mary and Jesus.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…