Gospel: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.
I am in awe of Joseph! Here is a man who is told by the woman he is betrothed to that she is pregnant. He knows that this child is not his, because he has not so much as touched her. Then her story is that this is God’s child! I have to think at this point that Joseph is thinking – no one told me that craziness ran in her family! So does Joseph take off running for the hills? No, he decides that he will divorce her quietly so as not to shame her! Shame her? She is the one who is pregnant by someone other than him. At this point, I am thinking Joseph is a better man than most. Others would have dropped Mary in an instant.
But then, the story continues to tell us that the angel of God appeared to Joseph in a dream telling him that Mary was telling him the truth and not to be afraid. So you would think that Joseph woke up thinking – ‘now I’m the crazy one!’ But instead Joseph got up and did just as the angel of God told him. He took his wife into his home and he and Mary became the earthly parents of Jesus.
I am in awe of Joseph because of his belief and trust in God. He has an amazing faith even in a situation where he has every right to be skeptical and question everything. His faith and his trust in the will of God gives me pause to question my own faith in God.
This Lenten season we are challenged to think about how much faith and trust we have in God. If we listen to God in our lives we will find that God will be with us and help us through any situation we may find ourselves in. Let God guide your life as Joseph did.