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 be with child 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. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
A RIGHTEOUS MAN… JOSEPH, SON OF DAVID. The prophet Jeremiah prophesies: “See, days are coming—oracle of the Lord—when I will raise up a righteous branch for David; as king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land” (Jer 23:5). How will God send this righteous descendant and who will he be?
In the Gospel, God fulfills the promise of a righteous descendant by entrusting Jesus to Joseph who comes from the lineage of David. Joseph is a righteous man engaged to Mary of Nazareth. When he suddenly discovers Mary to be pregnant, this brings him great sorrow since they have not yet lived together as a couple. A righteous man, Joseph plans to divorce his betrothed quietly.
God speaks to Joseph by sending him an angel in a dream. The angel explains to Joseph that he is chosen by God to become the legal father of the Child who will be born to Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary is going to bear a Son, and he will be called “Jesus” because he will save his people from their sins.
God respects the freedom of persons whom he has chosen to assume great responsibilities as they cooperate in carrying out God’s plans. Like Mary, Joseph is given full freedom to say yes to God’s offer and invitation. The angel does not disclose to Joseph all details of future events pertaining to his legal paternity over Jesus. Joseph does not get any special treatment; it is enough for him to know that the offer is coming from Someone who can be trusted.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.