Monday of the Third Week of Advent
This third week of Advent is meant to be one of rejoicing: we know that Christmas is near. And yet, for many of us, this week is marked by all those things we need to get done before we can celebrate Christmas: finals, projects, meetings… to say nothing of the cards to send, cookies to bake, and presents to buy. This week, which is to be experienced with joy, often feels filled with things that crowd joy out. And for many of us, there is a nagging feeling of the Christmas season not being exactly as we expected it to be—perhaps not every night is ending with twinkly lights and hot cocoa by a roaring fire, to the accompaniment of joyful Christmas carols.
Today’s Gospel reading gives voice to the challenge of things not being as we expected them to be. We find Joseph struggling with what to do next when he finds out that Mary is pregnant through the Holy Spirit. We never hear Joseph speak in this passage, but one can imagine that he had hopes and dreams of what his life with Mary would look like, and that the future looked much different and less clear after receiving the news she was expecting. As we all know, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and tells Joseph to take Mary as his wife, and to name the child Jesus. When Joseph wakes up, he follows the angel’s instructions, which makes Jesus’ birth as we know it possible.
It can be difficult in these dark and busy days to live lives guided by joy and faith. And yet, that is precisely what we are called to do, with Joseph as today’s model of faith and obedience. In the midst of tests and projects and emails, I encourage you to find at least one moment each day to experience the joy that comes through the impending birth of our Savior.
Title IX Coordinator