Fourth Sunday of Advent

As our Advent preparations draw to a close and Christmas fast approaches, it is fitting that today’s readings demonstrate the intensity of the Father’s perfect and passionate love for each us, culminating in the gift of His own Son, Jesus Christ, on Christmas Day.

In response to such an overwhelming gift, what can we do except offer our lives as gift in return, embracing a stewardship way of life with all the love and strength we have to give?

St. Joseph’s example to us

In our Gospel passage from Matthew, we find an unparalleled example of one who embraced this way of life in St. Joseph, as he obeys God’s call to him through the message of an angel. We never hear St. Joseph speak, but the Scriptures tell us he was always listening, attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit for his family.

It was Joseph who found the stable where the baby Jesus would be born. No doubt it was Joseph who cleaned it up and prepared it for Mary and Jesus since we know that Mary was about to give birth. Joseph protected the family, guarded them, tended to their safety, their comfort, and their wellbeing at the expense of his own plans and preferences.

Though we do not hear any words from St. Joseph his actions clearly show that he offered himself, his whole life, as a gift to his family through his strong guidance, protection and service.

Give our very lives to those around us

Let us imitate St. Joseph then as good stewards, giving our very lives to those around us in love and gratitude to God who has given us everything we have, especially His own Son, Jesus Christ.