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).
When I read the Gospel passage from today, I can't help but think of the word obedience. There are so many times that we think about Mary's trust in the Lord through the birth of Jesus, but we sometimes overlook the large leap of trust taken by Joseph too. Joseph was such an obedient man.
He placed so much love into his interactions with our Blessed Mother. The story could have been much different, yet Joseph chose to love above all else. He wanted to love Mary and show her compassion that he chose a quiet approach to this difficult situation. When we really stop to think about what Mary was telling him- she had conceived by the Holy Spirit -I can't even imagine what I would be thinking in that situation. But Joseph didn't choose anger or spite. He chose love and honor.
After he awoke from this dream, he chose obedience to the will of God. He placed so much trust in what Mary and the angel had spoken to him. He was probably very afraid of what taking this woman and child into his home would mean for his life. But he took the risk, and he didn't let that fear get in the way of doing something great. For we know- this man isn't just Joseph; he is Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus. Because he took such care of Jesus and Mary, he is such an example of fatherly love. There were so many opportunities for him to ignore the call, to simply quiet the situation and walk away. But St. Joseph puts on his sandals and walks the journey with Mary. He walks the road to Bethlehem with her and allows the Lord to work great things in the Holy Family.
He walks with her, and we can walk with them both too. We can choose to be obedient to what God is calling us to do. We can conquer our fears and put on our sandals and walk. We can take the steps to let Christ be born into our very hearts, our very lives. We can choose love and compassion. We can do the hard things. We can listen to the whisper of God telling us not to be afraid. When I gaze upon the Nativity scene this Advent, I look at Joseph. I'm so grateful for his yes and for the care he gave towards our Mother and Savior. And I can't help but know that I can give that care too.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
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.
How am I being obedient to God's call for my life today?
When I feel fear do I trust in God or do I trust in something else?
How can I conquer my fear and walk in trust of God?
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.
"Let me say yes."
"Lord, help me not be afraid."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
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?
Take time today in prayer to ask for St. Joseph's intercession. Invite God into specific fears you have in walking with him and ask for the grace to put on your sandals like St. Joseph and set out with the Lord!
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Today's Prayer was prepared by Megan Kramer, a parishioner at St. Mary's Parish in Huntley, IL.
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