SERMON OF THE WEEK
December 11, 2011
Next Sunday we commemorate the revelation to Joseph of the birth of Jesus. The truth is revealed to Joseph concerning his beloved Mary. Gospel readiing is from Mathew 1:18-25.
"18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins. 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel[d] (which means God with us). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus."
St. Joseph was by birth of the royal family of King David, but was living in humble obscurity as a carpenter. God raised him to the highest sanctity to become the spouse of St. Mary and foster father of Jesus. The Bible says Joseph was a just man, he was innocent and pure. He was faithful and obedient of divine calls. When he lerrned that Mary bore within her womb Jesus, he feared to take her as his wife, but an angel helped him remove his fear.
Joseph probably thought earlier that his life was pretty simple. His marriage and vocation were all arranged neatly for him, but then his world came crumbing down on him. He discovered that his bride to be was pregnant. Joseph was a man of great integrity. He wanted to do the right thing. He considered divorcing Mary when he learned of her pregnancy but wanted to do so without calling attention to the reason for his decision. He could have had her publicly disgraced or even stoned her to death for adultery. Instead, without questioning her pregnancy, he married her.
Although Joseph came from the royal lineage, he has lived a pious life. He was a quiet man willing to endure hardships and disappointment.
We learn 6 things from Josephs life:
1. The Righteous Man: Joseph was a righteous man committed to do Gods commandments. He had no fear or shame for his commitment to God. Joseph is an example to every man: Do not be afraid to be a man of prayer in union with God. He had surrendered completely to Gods will, avoiding evil and doing the good things in life.
2. Man of Pure Love: Joseph had a pure and honest love toward Mary. He respected her devotion to him.
3. No Exposure to the Public: Joseph did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace. It was very easy for Joseph to bring her to public condemnation when he had found out she was pregnant.
4. The Openness and Listening to Gods explanation of what was going on: He listened to what the angel had told him in the dream. With his openness, Joseph understood the Mystery of the Virgin and his vocation.
5. Not Suspicious. When Joseph woke up from sleep, he did as the angel and the Lord had commanded him. Love believes everything.
6. Welcoming Mary and Jesus. The angel said to Joseph, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to your house." Joseph welcomed Mary and Jesus to his house. Thats what we can learn from Joseph, to take Mary and Jesus to our hearts, family and life.
Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas Valiyaparambil