December 22

Advent Calendar week 4

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Matthew 3:1-12

Joseph is in a difficult situation.  He is not married to Mary, but she is pregnant.  He can either take responsibility for the situation and experience social stigma, or deny responsibility and expose Mary to shame and possible punishment by society.  He is caught between what his heart believed and what his religion required so had to discern God’s will.  Joseph does not understand what is happening and how to proceed.  Yet, he was a good and honorable man who wanted to do the right thing.  We do not know all the details of Joseph’s inner struggle, but the gospel story does tell us that he kept his heart open to God, and God showed him that he had more options than he thought. Joseph’s openness gave him the freedom to trust in God and leap into the unknown.  In the end, the world was transformed because Joseph’s trust and goodness allowed Jesus to come into the world. 

Reflection Questions 

  • Have you experienced struggles like Joseph when you did not understand what was happening and you were caught between competing goods?  How did you respond?
  • How are you being called to radically trust God and risk the unknown?