Monday of the Third Week


Jer 23:5-8
Ps 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19
Mt 1:18-25


Today’s Gospel reading is about Joseph finding out about Jesus, and God’s intentions for him.  For whatever reason, this reading makes me reminiscent of my childhood.  Perhaps this is because of the countless times I had heard this reading during our weekly Masses in elementary and middle school, or maybe it is because of the general feelings of Christmas that this reading evokes.  Whatever the reason, I am reminded of how I felt about Christmas as a child.  Initially, my understanding of Christmas was largely defined by Santa, a Christmas tree, and a (seemingly) eternal Mass on Christmas Eve with my family.  As I grew up, I began to understand more fully the ‘reason for the season.’  In recent years, I have looked forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus, and the reminder of the courage and dedication of Mary and Joseph who trusted in God’s call. 
In today’s Gospel, Joseph was initially hesitant when he heard his wife was pregnant.  I mean, who wouldn’t be?  To find out your wife was pregnant by the Holy Spirit would freak out just about anyone.  In Joseph’s confusion and frustration, God came to him through an angel to explain it all.  After hearing this, Joseph returned to Mary, and rededicated himself to her, and to their soon to be born son, Jesus.  While I’ve not shared this exact experience, I can easily see myself in Joseph’s shoes.  How many times have I questioned God’s call, and doubted his judgement, only to be proven dead wrong?  It takes more than two hands to count those instances for me!  At the same time, I can look back and point out all the ‘angels’ God sent my way to help guide me.  These ‘angels’ have come in the form of friends, family, and University Ministers.
This Gospel reminds me to trust in God’s call, no matter how strange it may seem.  Admittedly, this is a skill I am still working on, but with the help of my ‘angels’ and the community around me, I am becoming more comfortable and confident in trusting God's presence in my life.  If Joseph can trust God’s call for him to raise His son, I can trust His call, wherever it may take me.
Nick Hatton, ‘18