From the Pastor's desk Dec 18, 2016
Dec 20, 2016
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This fourth Sunday of Advent we are introduced to the veracity of the virginal conception of Jesus, but not through Mary, like in the Gospel of Luke, but through Joseph. Joseph is described here as a “righteous man” which in biblical terms means holy.
The characteristics of a “righteous man” is not revenge nor is punishment for sinners. If Joseph had been driven by revenge, Mary was to be lapidated because appearances told him of adultery. But Joseph righteousness was merciful, that is why he “decided to divorce her quietly”. He preferred to walk away in order to save her life. He loved her.
Joseph still ignores that the fruit of Mary’s womb is the work of the Holy Spirit. It was logical to think of adultery and so in order to protect her, Joseph decides to repudiate her in secret.
The purpose of the text is not to underline Joseph’s character nor his obedience to the Word of God. Joseph like John the Baptist hides and disappear so the Glory of God can shine through him. The purpose of this text is to present us the Virgin Mary, the maiden that gives birth to a Son by the grace of the Holy Spirit. This way the prophesy of Isaiah is fulfilled “the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel” (Is 7, 14).
Emmanuel, the name given by Isaiah, means “God is with us.” This is not in vain but to show that the child is God himself amongst his people. The name of Jesus expresses the sentiment better because it means: God saves. The “small presence” of God amongst his people is to bring the Salvation to those awaiting.
My prayer before Christmas: Jesus you are my God in the midst of my difficulties and trials. O God, make me instrument of your peace so your presence can be felt through my life. Amen!