3rd Week of Advent

 

Joseph . . . did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him. 

 

Do you want a great piece of advice?   Expect the unexpected.   Everyone knows that the best-laid plans can change in an instant.   Yet when the unexpected happens, we can still get rattled by it.   It seems that we really didn’t expect the unexpected after all!

Joseph’s plans were all set.   He loved Mary.   The two of them had already been betrothed.   All that was left was the final ceremony;   then they could finally live together as husband and wife.   But then the unexpected happened:   Mary became pregnant before they had come together.   What was Joseph to do?   He came up with Plan B:   quietly divorce Mary to save her reputation.   But then the unexpected happened again.   An angel appeared to him in a dream and showed him God’s plan:   Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit and would bear a son who would save his people from their sins.

Can you imagine how Joseph felt at this point?   He must have been shaken to the core.   Yet despite all these surprises, he was able to give up control and accept the unexpected because of his faith.   Joseph believed that God is good.   He trusted that if this was God’s plan as the angel had said, then something good would come out of it.   So instead of complaining or doubting this new turn of events, he took Mary into his home.   And as a result, Mary had the support she needed to bring Jesus into the world.

We have all been in situations when we are faced with Plan B or C or even D.   Sometimes these are minor annoyances, but other times it’s something momentous:   a sudden illness that sidelines us, a job transfer that requires a move across the country, or an unexpected pregnancy.   In all these cases, we face the challenge of giving up control and yielding to something new, unfamiliar, and maybe even frightening.

When that happens, think of Joseph.   Even if he didn’t expect the unexpected, he accepted what God had in store for him and moved forward in faith.   Let’s pray for the grace to do the same.

“Father, I know that your plan is always good.   Give me the grace to trust you even when I do not understand it.”

Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19

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