Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Funny enough, I currently own a painting that hangs on the wall of my dorm room of this very scene from Matthew’s Gospel. It’s called The Dream of Saint Joseph, painted by Anton Raphael.
At the beginning of the school year, with this being my last year of college, there was a real heaviness to life. In trying to discern what God was calling me to next, I developed what I call a skepticism of the heart. There was an inability to believe in the goodness of God and the goodness of what was to come, and in my lack of faith, I tried to figure out my life by my own power. This only led to restlessness and headaches after playing these mind games of analyzing every detail of my life, to attempt to come to a conclusion, but to no avail. Congratulations, Josh, you’re a skeptic now. After finally crying out to the Lord for healing, He brought me to this scene with Saint Joseph.
Saint Joseph also had every reason to be a skeptic. When’s the last time we made a decision after having a dream about it? Even so, Joseph does not reluctantly follow what the angel tells him. He literally wakes up and makes haste to bring Mary into his home. I bought the painting to remind me Joseph does not act out of pure certainty, he acts out of real faith. I also can’t help but think the peace Joseph felt after this dream, understanding this is what the Father wanted. Peace is how the Father communicates his will to us skeptical humans.
At this point in Advent, a week from Christmas, may we also follow Saint Joseph’s example, and go where the peace leads us, as we await the coming of the Prince of Peace.
O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!