Saturday of the Third Week of Advent

Waiting for an Angel

Such was his intention when suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream and said to him, “Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife. It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this child. She is to have a son and you are to name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins. (Mt 1:20-21)

Joseph didn’t know what to do. The love of his life, his beautiful Mary, was pregnant and the child wasn’t his. How could she do this to him? How could she do this to herself? He didn’t know how to cope with her unfaithfulness. Marrying her would mean dismissing her betrayal. Exposing her to the law would mean punishment, perhaps even death. He decided to divorce her quietly and save them both from shame. Then an angel appeared to him, assuring him of Mary’s purity and fidelity.

There are people in my own life whom I can’t figure out. At the moment I thought I could most trust them, they turned their backs on me. I was left to cope with their unfaithfulness, and my own devastation. I didn’t have an angel to appear and explain things to me as Joseph did. Or did I? There’s one aspect of Gabriel’s explanation to Joseph that also holds true for me: No matter what the circumstances, it’s all part of God’s plan.

Mary, how difficult it must have been for you to see the pain in Joseph’s eyes when you told him you were pregnant. How did you cope with not being able to explain it to him? Help me, Mary, when I have to wait for the truth to be revealed to me about others, or to others about myself.

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