Who among us does not, one morning or another, experience waking up still completely inhabited by the dream of the night? A few snippets or an incongruous story wander in our still sleepy memory. And the interpretation of dreams by psychoanalysts has a bright future ahead of it!
But the Bible also speaks to us of dreams and dreams:
“Divination, omens, dreams: so many vanities, these are daydreams of a pregnant woman. Unless they are sent as visitors from the Most High, do not apply your heart to them.” (If 34, 5-6).
All the difference is there, because God sometimes uses dreams to instruct men and entrust them with a particular mission. This is the adventure that happens to Saint Joseph, Mary’s betrothed. Discovering that she is pregnant before they have lived together, he decides to send her away in secret. If he is presented as a just man, it is of course in the sense that he makes a decision of clemency towards Mary which reveals his love, his wisdom and his self-control, but above all benevolence full of mercy. This is a first level of reading.
But the Gospel tells us that an angel of the Lord appears in a dream to Joseph. Through this messenger, God teaches him that he needs him and this intervention is of weight in Joseph’s behavior, because it is thus that he learns that the child who is begotten comes from the Holy Spirit.
“Wonderful Joseph! He does not hesitate, he does not prevaricate. He obeys.”
Justice according to the law allowed to divorce his wife, but no law compelled to divorce a bride suspected of adultery; repudiation concerns the consummated marriage. What is in question here is religious justice which asks Joseph to respect in Mary the work of God and of his Spirit. And this justice prevents him from annexing to himself the merits of a divine action; on his own authority, Joseph does not believe he can take into his home a person whom God has reserved for himself. The husband having authority over his wife, Joseph effaces himself before God, renouncing to become the husband of Mary and the father of the child; so he decides to send his fiancée away quietly, without people knowing.
But in the dream, the messenger reassures him: do not be afraid. And he entrusts him with the responsibility of naming the child: you will give him the name of Jesus, because it is he who will save his people from their sins. Thus Joseph legally adopts him by imposing on him the name designated by the angel and thus makes him enter into the lineage of David, of whom he is himself an authentic descendant. Henceforth sacred history becomes the history of God who became a little Israelite, heir of David, heir of the promises made to the fathers in the faith.
When Joseph awoke, he did what the angel had commanded him: he took his wife home.
Wonderful Joseph! He does not hesitate, he does not prevaricate. He obeys.
Christmas soon ! we have a few days left to prepare ourselves, too, to welcome Jesus and his mother. Christmas is not a dream. This is the reality of the mystery of the Incarnation, of the abasement of God in his Son.
Let nothing prevent us from opening our homes to him…
Sister Veronique | Friday, December 16, 2022
Mt 1, 18-24
This is how Jesus Christ was begotten:
Mary, his mother, had been granted in marriage to Joseph;
before they lived together,
she was pregnant by the action of the Holy Spirit.
Joseph, her husband,
who was a righteous man,
and did not want to denounce it publicly,
decided to send her back in secret.
As he had formed this project,
behold, the angel of the Lord
appeared to him in a dream and said to him:
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take home Mary, your spouse,
since the child who is begotten in her
comes from the Holy Spirit;
she will bear a son,
and you will give him the name of Jesus
for it is he who will save his people from their sins. »
It all happened
for it to be accomplished
the word of the Lord spoken by the prophet:
Behold, the Virgin will conceive,
and she will bear a son;
he will be called Emmanuel,
which translates: God with us “.
When Joseph woke up,
he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him:
he took his wife home.
© Catholic Media Center Cath-Info, 16.12.2022
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Sunday Gospel: Wonderful Joseph! – Swiss Catholic portal
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