Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
You need some faith-filled eyes to read the Gospel today because our human limitations could not possibly perceive what truly happened to Mary, right? How could Mary have a baby without relations with another man? Joseph, who was said to be righteous and obeyed the law, must have been convinced she had inappropriate relations. Yet he loved Mary and decided to divorce her quietly and save her from public ridicule.
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and explained that through the Holy Spirit, the child was conceived in Mary. And then the angel proceeded to explain that He fulfills the prophecy that was written and the child is God.
I had to stop and think about what I would do if I had such a dream. Would I believe it to be true and trust the angel? I have not had such a powerful dream that I could say, for sure, was a message from God. But I have had messages from Him in other ways that I did not mistake for coincidence or anything other than God.
I think there are two things that we can all keep in mind in our lives:
First and foremost it is apparent that Joseph truly loved Mary. He loved her deeply and didn’t want to shame her, even though he thought she betrayed him with another man. Many people in this situation would not forgive the other person let alone love them and want to protect them. Second, he believed and trusted in God no matter what others would say or do to Him. He did what he was told to do and didn’t question it. He was obedient to God in everything and open to His direction through the angel.
All of us can learn from St. Joseph on how to be obedient and how to love in all circumstances. Let’s try to put ourselves in Joseph’s shoes and be in tune to God calling us. Let’s remember the Nike slogan and “just do it”... love everyone always and obey God in all things.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Who do I need to show love through forgiveness?
Where do I feel the Lord calling me to deeper trust and obedience?
How do I feel called to follow St. Joseph's example?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Do not be afraid."
"God is with us."
"St. Joseph, pray for us."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Choose to follow St. Joseph's example. Maybe that means forgiving someone that you have been struggling to love or choosing to do something that you have been avoiding. Whatever you choose to do, pray to St. Joseph for the courage to follow through with it.
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Today’s Prayer was prepared by Kendra Von Esh, an International Catholic Speaker, TV News Anchor, Radio Host and Author with a passion to help others deepen their relationship with God and the Faith.
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