“When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.” (Matthew 1:24)
Mathew 1:16, 18-21, 24 shows us that when Joseph first heard the news about Mary and her pregnancy, he no doubt was very upset. After all by all outward appearances it looked as if Mary had broken her vow to him as well as violating his trust in a very careless fashion. It is only human to think in that manner. So of course the only reasonable thing that a righteous man like Joseph could do would be to divorce her quietly so not to cause more trouble for Mary than need be.
But God sent an angel to visit Joseph to help him understand that something much greater than human logic could understand was happening. Then through the visit of the angel Joseph was able to think according to the logic of divine love and not human reasoning alone. It was the grace of God that had filled his heart and helped him see the overall bigger picture.
In this gospel reading it shows how grace, if we let it, can build on our nature. It can take our good qualities an then fill those qualities with the qualities of God’s goodness. It was this same grace that helped Mary say “Yes.” to the angel when she was asked to become the Mother of God. It was God’s grace that moved Joseph to embrace his role as the guardian of the Messiah. And it is that very same grace that can empower us to accept God’s calling as well as wisdom for our lives.
There is nothing wrong with human reason, in fact it is a gift from God, but it was never really meant to be able to function on it’s own, independent of God. Our Father wants to teach us how to use His logic, this logic of divine love, and to use it as a foundation for all of our thoughts, decisions, and actions. However, in order for this to happen we need to become sensitive to His grace and be able to recognize it when He offers it to us.
Sometime in the future try this little experiment while in church. As you might be praying or listening to Gospel readings, quiet down your heart and then pay close attention to whatever might come into your mind. If you get a sense of God’s love or if you feel a kind of peace coming over you then accept that very moment as God’s grace filling you. If you have a sense that there is some calling to serve, such as serve in church, serve the poor, help a neighbor or whatever, recognize that as more than likely a grace filled invitation from our Lord.
Let us all be open to God’s grace as both Joseph and Mary were!
“Thank You, Father, for Your amazing grace!”
2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
Lord please show us how we can quiet our minds and hearts.
Show us how to listen for Your whispers in our mins so we know that it is You who is speaking.
Help us to realize we need to believe that small quiet voice we might hear, is truly Your voice.
Help us to realize that any time we might hear Your voice that it is a moment of grace You are giving us.
Help us to accept that moment of grace with open arms and an open heart.