The Gospel of the Day – 2015.12.25 (Christmas)
This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the 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 she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home and, though he had not had intercourse with her, she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus.
The Real Story
Mary was betrothed to Joseph. Joseph was of the House of David. She became pregnant before their wedding; this according to the design God had put in place for the propagation of human life.
Joseph had second thoughts both about marriage, and being a father, but in a moment of conscience, listening to the spirit of truth within him, he made a choice, the just and responsible choice to raise his son.
He took Mary as his wife, and brought her into his house. They named him Joshua, after the great hero of the Israelites. They pinned their hopes on him. In that trust; they experienced the presence of God. They understood that God, God who created the universe; that God was with them.
If Joseph had succumbed to his fear, and weakness; in that time and place Mary would have been destroyed, she would have been an outcast, she would have had no standing in her community.
Joseph was humbled by his weakness and doubt. In that moment, he learned what it means to truly love.
If you believe it.