Posted by: livingscripture | December 18, 2008

December 18, 2008 Third Thursday of Advent

From the Word of the Day


The Virgin shall be with child and give birth to a son, and they shall call him Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God is with us’.          (Matthew 1, 22)


How should we live this Word


The protagonist in today’s Gospel is the figure of Joseph, the man of integrity and fidelity who accepts the mystery of a mysterious paternity in order to protect God’s Son and keep Mary, the Mother of the Savior and his promised bride.  God comes to him in a dream.  Even here, in the secret spaces of the night and of sleep, an angel speaks and illumines Joseph about his new vocation.  Mary will give birth to a son and he, the just man, will define His identity as a Son of Israel.  Tasks of equal importance for the Incarnation of the Word in human history and for His belonging to a people.


Thus Joseph finds himself as the guardian of the most precious treasure of the human family, the Son of the living God and His Mother.  He believes what the angel tells him even though he is disconcerted and thus, in the morning, he does exactly what was told to him.  He does not choose the baby’s name because it is written in the nature of Christ, God with us.  This presence of the Lord in the universe however, remains mysterious and distant from our thoughts.  It is only understood by humble and pure hearts as that of Joseph who accepts the inconceivable reality of a God who takes up His dwelling in a virgin’s womb, an ordinary woman living in an unknown village of Galilee.


In this Advent time, so close to Christmas, we too need to ask ourselves, do we really believe in ‘God with us’?  How do I see Him in the poor person that lives near me?  Perhaps the ordinariness of the sacred frightens us.  In fact by His incarnation, the Lord has declared His predilection for the poor and the small.  He has taken the face of an immigrant, a sick person, an elderly person.  We can no longer adore God only in Heaven or in His sanctuaries because with the incarnation He has placed His real temple in the flesh of every creature, even those who are not receptive or who are displeased at this.


Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask God to show me His face in those who are around me so that I may contemplate it and respect it.


The voice of Angelo Casati, priest, pastor, poet                  


This is what Christmas seems to say to us, outside of all sentimentality. God is in the living and weak flesh of every human being.  Wrap it and take care of it, like its mother.  Do not turn it into a paper màchè  baby.

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