Emmanuel, God is with us!

by Father Andrew Ricci

Joseph’s fidelity

by Ron Rolheiser

There are countless persons, basilicas, churches, shrines, seminaries, convents, and even towns and cities named after St. Joseph. My native country, Canada, has him as its patron.

 Who exactly is this Joseph? What do we really know about him? What can we learn from this text? What actually happened here?

SOURCE: The Sunday Website at Saint Louis University

Dream Big

by Bishop Robert Barron

The Bible turns upside-down the way we think about the God-human relationship. In almost every other religion or philosophy, God or the gods are the powerful forces who have to be supplicated, begged, and prayed to in order for human beings to get what they want. But the Bible presents an entirely different picture. As I have often said, the Bible is not the story of our quest for God; it is the story of God’s quest for us.

SOURCE: Word on Fire

God, what do you want me to do?

by Larry Broding

Joseph as a foster father

by John Kavanaugh, SJ

This was supposed to be a consoling message, given as it was by an angel. But I’ve wondered now and then whether Joseph ever had any negative thoughts about the whole thing. Is it possible that he experienced a tiny twinge of jealousy about the Holy Spirit?

SOURCE: The Sunday Website at Saint Louis University

Even in uncertainty, God is always there

by Jaime L. Waters

Ahaz is insecure because of an impending war. Joseph is uncertain about Mary and their forthcoming marriage. In both cases, God responds by offering assurance. Ahaz receives prophetic messages and signs, and Joseph is visited by an angel, who instructs him to marry Mary… We too can benefit from looking for God’s guidance, especially when we lack confidence, and can find comfort in knowing that God is active in our lives.

SOURCE: America—The Jesuit Review

God is with us

by Scott Hahn

CATHOLIC—The mystery kept secret for long ages, promised through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, is today revealed (see Romans 16:25–26). This is the “Gospel of God” that Paul celebrates in today’s Epistle—the good news that “God is with us” in Jesus Christ.

SOURCE: St Paul Center

Be With the Word

CATHOLIC—In this Catholic podcast, Dr. Peter and Dr. Gerry discuss psychological readiness and letting go of self-sufficiency as steps to prepare for Our Lord’s imminent arrival. Hear them compare and contrast King Ahaz and St. Joseph’s response to God’s call in this week’s Advent readings and what we can do to be more like Joseph.

SOURCE: Souls and Hearts

More Reflections

NOTE: The following reflections are from non-Catholic sources.

This week’s Gospel from a holistic spirituality and theology framework

by Bruce Epperly

2019—The Christmas stories in Matthew and Luke invite us into the “twilight zone” of paranormal experiences – angelic visitations and choirs and nocturnal revelations. Today’s Gospel asserts that the future of faith depends on awakening to the nocturnal messages from God welling up through the unconscious, the realm of sighs too deep for words, the realm of dreams and trusting the non-rational elements of life.

SOURCE: The Adventurous Lectionary

God finds a way

2019—Joseph knows that this situation with Mary is not about legalities, or honor or shame or what other people may think or say; it is about God bringing Christ to the world. All that matters is God’s call. Joseph honors Mary, and their marriage, this family, as the opportunity God has created to bring hope, salvation to all the world.

SOURCE: Political Theology Network

Can we believer Mary when she says she is a virgin?

by by Celeste Kennel-Shank

2019—The short answer is yes. But what else is going on in the readings? Celeste Kennel-Shank gives us a little personal history before looking at the Protevangelium of James. The implication: “Preachers often highlight Mary’s marginalized social position: God chooses to become flesh through an unwed teenager. God chooses to become flesh through a girl whose people are living under occupation, through someone who is not a citizen of the empire. God also chooses to become flesh—to be Immanuel, God with us—through a woman whose testimony was not believed.”

SOURCE: Living by the Word—The Christian Century

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