The Gospel passage that the Church puts before us on the Fourth Sunday of Advent describes an angel of the Lord appearing to Joseph in a dream and proclaiming that Mary, his wife, was pregnant with the messiah, and that he should be unafraid to take her into his home. When the angel revealed to Joseph the mystery of the virgin birth of Jesus, he fully accepted his vocation to be the head of the Holy Family, a vocation that he would remain faithful to until his death. Jesus was born into this family of Mary and Joseph, defenseless and in need of a father who would protect him and teach him all of the things that fathers teach their sons. The whole glory and joy of Saint Joseph’s story is that he understood what God wanted of him, and he would spend himself faithfully carrying out that mission of raising Jesus and protecting his family.  
Between Mary and Jesus there exists a unique and special relationship shared by no one else – not even Joseph, who is described by Pope Saint John Paul II as a silent witness to the Nativity (John Paul II, Homily During Midnight Mass, 1978). After Mary, though, Joseph was the first person to see the long prophesied and promised Christ, the son of God! It would be Joseph’s responsibility to name the Word of God, at the promptings of the angel, “you are to name him Jesus,” and Joseph would have such a role in raising Jesus that others in Nazareth would call Jesus both the carpenter and the son of the carpenter (Mark 6:3, Matthew 13:55). What sort of father must Joseph have been to carry out his task of raising the son of God? Today, as the season of Advent begins to climb toward the glory of the Nativity of Jesus, contemplate Joseph at the side of Mary, soon to give birth to her son, and ask for the grace of remaining just as faithful to the path and vocation to which Jesus is calling you.



At the National Eucharistic Congress, Decided Excellence Catholic Media - with the help of Bishop William Waltersheid - will be presenting "Beautiful Revelation: The Eucharistic Timeline". Throughout human history, God has left repeated proof of His presence in the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Salvation. God has given us the wisdom. Have you taken the time to understand? Read this spiritual journey through time to examine critical moments that God uses to reveal the truth of the Body of Christ.

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