Gospel Reflection for December 22, Fourth Sunday of Advent

17 Dec

In a dream, an angel told Joseph, “Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife.  It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this child.  She is to have a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1.20-21

When Joseph finds Mary pregnant with a child not his own, he makes a compassionate judgment to divorce her quietly.  He can’t stop thinking about her and the gospel tells us Joseph sleeps on his decision.  Joseph opens his unconscious self to nourishing rest; he opens himself to the nonrational, spiritual world and to the infinite, whole picture he seeks.  He entrusts himself to Holy Mystery in going to sleep.

The angel in Joseph’s dream tells him:

  • Not to fear
  • The Spirit of God has conceived this child in his fiancé.
  • Mary will have a son
  • Joseph is to name and claim the child as his own.

The name reveals the child’s mission.  The name Jesus means he saves.

How is sleeping on a decision an act of prayer?

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