Gospel: Mt 1:18-25
This is how Jesus Christ was born: Mary his mother had been given to Joseph in marriage, but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to disgrace her. While he was pondering over this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a son. You shall call him ‘Jesus‘ for he will save his people from their sins.” All this happened in order to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Emmanuel, which means: God-with us. When Joseph awoke, he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do, and he took his wife to his home. He did not have any marital relations with her. When she gave birth to a son, Joseph gave him the name Jesus.
An unmarried woman. An unplanned pregnancy. ”Who is the father?” ”They say Joseph still intends to take her as his wife. He‘s going to marry her after all this.” ”This whole thing is a disgrace. She and her love child should be stoned. The law requires it.” Joseph knows this is a scandal. He knows there are questions of faithfulness. But it is not a scandal of immorality. The real drama is that God is with us. We thought God was up there, or out there, maybe somewhere in the future. But then Mary got pregnant. The mystery of that pregnancy is that God is intimately present with our humanity and history. God‘s holy spirit fills the womb of Mary. The wonder of the event is that humanity can become pregnant with God. In this pregnancy God renews all the covenants of history and again chooses us to be his people. God‘s continuing promise to show up and live in the midst of our lives is fulfilled in Mary‘s pregnancy. The child within Mary is a love child. That is not, however, a euphemism for illegitimate, a child born to unmarried parents. The child is the revelation of God‘s love and fidelity for humanity. Love that can be seen, heard, touched. This embodied love of God will feed and nourish God‘s people. Joseph‘s daytime resolution to quietly dismiss Mary has given way to a night of dreaming, pondering, and wrestling. Joseph‘s view of Mary, her pregnancy, even himself has been enlarged and opened. He has begun to see this situation through the eyes of faith rather than what others thought about the marital situation. God is committed to us and makes Mary and Joseph his partners in bringing himself more intimately to humanity. God believes in us more than we do, says St. Augustine. This is the truth of the virgin birth and the mystery of the incarnation.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018