Lent Day 20

Monday, March 20, 2017

Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24A

Friends, on this feast of St. Joseph, our Gospel focuses on some powerful spiritual themes, all of which surround the birth of Jesus.

First we look at the sadness and the quandary of Joseph. He had become betrothed to Mary and then he finds that his betrothed is pregnant. So, the engagement has to be called off because of an irregular pregnancy. This must have pained him at the deepest emotional level:  the feeling of betrayal by one he had loved. It is a wonderful tribute to the goodness of Joseph that he didn’t vent his frustration. Instead, he looked to the feelings of Mary, resolving to divorce her quietly.

Still, this must have been spiritual crisis for him. What does God want him to do? Then the angel appears to him in a dream and tells him to take Mary as his wife. Joseph realizes that these puzzling events are part of God’s much greater plan. He was willing to cooperate with the divine plan, though he in no way knew its contours or deepest purposes. Like Mary at the annunciation, he trusted and let himself be led.

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