God could, had He pleased, have been incarnate in a man of iron nerves, the Stoic sort who lets no sigh escape him. Of His great humility He chose to be incarnate in a man of delicate sensibilities who wept at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane. Otherwise we should have missed the great lesson that it is by his will alone that a man is good or bad, and that feelings are not, in themselves, of any importance. We should also have missed the all-important help of knowing that He has faced all that the weakest of us face, has shared not only the strength of our nature but every weakness of it except sin. If He had been incarnate in a man of immense natural courage, that would have been for many of us almost the same as His not being incarnate at all.― C.S. Lewis, The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Gospel Text: (MT 1:18-24)
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
As Matthew’s story of Jesus’ birth unfolds in today’s gospel, we see that St. Joseph chooses the way of faith, he puts his trust in God, and not withstanding whatever doubts, questions or puzzlement that might arise from that all too human incapacity to understand the ‘non-rational’ – Joseph chooses to respond to God’s will. “He did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.”
So what can we learn from St Joseph’s response to this call? While I’m no mystic, I think of the times when I have felt God calling me to do something important.
Take a few minutes to reflect on your life to identify a time when God has called you to do something that has made all the difference. You just have to listen and act in faith when this happens even if it the meaning is unclear.