Fourth Sunday of Advent

Theme: Joseph, the Husband of Mary
Symbol: Carpenter’s Tools

File:Saint Joseph Charpentier.jpg
Saint Joseph Charpentier. Georges de La Tour  (1593–1652), 1642. Photo by Philippe Lelong

Prayer of Ven. Bruno Lanteri

Almighty and Eternal God, I (name), although most  unworthy, but encouraged by your compassion and infinite mercy, and by the desire of serving you, offer before the Most Holy Virgin Mary and all the Court of Heaven, to your Divine Majesty, this day, and all my thoughts, words and actions in it. I humbly beg of your infinite goodness and mercy, by the Blood of Jesus Christ, that you choose to accept this offering in the odor of sweetness, and that as you have given me the grace to desire and to make this offering, so also you grant me the grace to fulfill it. Amen.

O Virgin immaculately conceived, put into my heart those things of your Son most pleasing to him. Amen.

Scripture: Matthew 1: 19-20
Her husband Joseph, being an upright man and wanting to spare her disgrace, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when suddenly 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.”

Reflection: Family life can be complicated. There seems to always be something to worry about. For a family to be holy requires attending to every issue that may arise with prayerful dialogue and seeking for divine assistance. Joseph was not spared his share of trial. In his humility, the pregnancy of Mary took him by surprise. He even contemplated quiet divorce out of the respect he had for her and for the designs of God. Before acting though, Joseph kept his heart opened to the Lord who then shed light on his contemplation. Consequently, Joseph gained wisdom and understanding. We must learn from his receptivity to divine illumination. If every action considered in the midst of daily difficulties is subjected to divine light, there is no limit to where the Holy Spirit may lead us.