A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 1:18-25
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered 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 home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
REFLECTION: "do not be afraid"
Here I sit in adoration and Jesus is telling my mind to be still.....Shush, SHHHH....It is Jesus' time to talk, it's his time to tell me how much he loves me, to tell me of the many promises he has yet to fulfill and to trust in Him and not be afraid of life.
He reminds me over and over again -- stop, think, ponder and pray. He tells me to come before him in total silence and he will fill my soul with his soul. He will enable me to see the invisible Father. Jesus knows that I am afraid of dying, afraid of losing one of my children to the Evil one . I am afraid of failure. He knows my faults, my sins and my actions but he especially knows what I don't know. He knows my heart and only he can heal it or fix it or set it straight.
Joseph was afraid of the situation he found himself in. Joseph thought that the woman he loved had betrayed him. However, he loved her so much that he could not turn her in to the authorities so he intended to divorce her privately . He brought all these things in prayer to God. And when he was silent God spoke to him in his sleep. Joseph thought and pondered the situation, and asked God what to do. God answered, "Do not be afraid".
His response to Mary's pregnancy would require the utmost faith , confidence and trust in God.
Mary faced an even more challenge of her faith and trust in God's promises. She was asked to believe she would be pregnant beyond the natural law and to assume the great risk of being ostracized from society with a pregnancy out of wedlock. God was to become man in her womb. "Do not be afraid, Mary."
This Christmas, when we see the helpless baby Jesus, remember that He is God--both in human and divine nature. God became man because He loved us. God could not turn His back on us. Here is this baby--perfect human and perfect God in a manger. Let us not be afraid to approach the baby --this helpless/homeless baby-- who is the key to our salvation.
This week we are filled with the joy of the coming of the Lord. Sing out with great confidence that Our Lord loves us beyond our comprehension. !!
Merry Christmas !!