The Sisters of the Living Word offer you these Advent Sunday reflections as we move into this new Church Year. Advent is a transition time, a transformation time. So much of our lives and world are in need of transformation today. Personally, nationally and globally there are so many situations moving us to consider differing options and opinions. All the Advent Readings urge us to look to the future work of God while paying attention to the good works we witness in the present. As Jesus told John the Baptist’s disciples in Week 3, see what is happening and know God is here with us. We, like Joseph in Week 4’s Gospel, need to awake and do what we are called to do to prepare for the coming of Christ Jesus all around us.
Week 4 Advent Reflection
Written by Luanne Wilhelm, SLW
And so it’s almost time. Time for the birth of Jesus. The birth of a child is a happy time, a time to look forward to the new life in the family and the joy that brings. But this week’s gospel puts our focus on Joseph. Mary is apparently expecting somebody else’s child. This is a problem. What is Joseph to do? The work of the Holy Spirit emerges in human life as a scandal. At least it appears to be a scandal. But it’s the work of the Holy Spirit. Joseph wrestles with this dilemma and decides to divorce Mary quietly so as to bring less shame on Mary. But Joseph is not able to carry out his plan. God intervenes in a dream. “Joseph, 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.” He is to name him Jesus/Emmanuel—God with us.
OK. So this is what Joseph knows. But he doesn’t know the outcome of his actions if he does take Mary to his home. Imagine being asked to do something but not knowing what will happen if you do.
What new life will be born in you this Christmas? What is coming to birth in you? Advent invites us to focus on transformation in our lives.
Perhaps you can realize things aren’t always as they seem. Or perhaps you can learn to be less judgmental. This new way of thinking can take root in your life and Joseph can teach you how to TRUST and ACT and let new life be born.