2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24
Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him. (Matthew 1:24)
When Joseph heard the news about Mary’s surprise pregnancy, he was probably upset. To all appearances, Mary had broken her vow to him, violating his trust in an extremely careless way. The reasonable conclusion for a “righteous man” like Joseph was to divorce Mary quietly so as not to cause any more trouble for her (Matthew 1:19).
But through an angel, God helped Joseph come to a conclusion that was based on something greater than human logic alone. Joseph began thinking according to the logic of divine love and not just human reasoning. God’s grace filled his heart and helped him see a bigger picture.
Today’s Gospel reading shows us how grace builds on our nature. It takes our good qualities and fills them with God’s goodness. It was grace that moved Mary to say yes to the angel’s invitation to become the Mother of God. It was grace that moved Joseph to embrace his vocation as the guardian of Israel’s Messiah. It’s the same grace that empowers us to accept God’s calling and wisdom for our lives.
Our human reason is a precious gift from God, but it was never meant to function independent of God. Our heavenly Father wants to teach us how to use his logic, the logic of divine love, as the foundation for all our thoughts, decisions, and actions. But for this to happen, we have to become sensitive to his grace.
Try this experiment the next time you are at Mass. As you are praying and listening to the readings, quiet your heart, and pay attention to whatever comes into your mind. If you get a sense of God’s love or if you feel peace welling up in you, accept it as a moment of grace. If you sense a new calling—to serve the poor, to become a catechist, or to give your neighbor a helping hand—recognize that it is most likely a grace-filled invitation from the Lord.
May we all be as open to God’s grace as Joseph was!
“Thank you, Father, for your amazing grace!”~WAU