Well, in Luke’s Annunciation story, the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she will conceive a child who will be the Son of God. She questions the angel, he reassures her and then she goes off to visit her cousin Elizabeth who’s with child in her old age whom the same angel had appeared to her husband Zack (for short). Now Zack was struck dumb (couldn’t speak) till the baby was born because he, unlike Mary, did not believe.
Sounds like a soap opera, eh?
Well, there’s more. The angel left Mary and Joseph with quite a dilemma. you see. She lived in a small village (Nazareth) and her belly was growing and a small scandal was growing even bigger!
Now Joseph her husband, according to the Gospel of Matthew (1:18-24) was greatly troubled. And “since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.”
But voila! . . . enter an angel who appears to Joseph one night in a dream and tells Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary his wife into his home.
And as we know the angel, (probably ol’ Gabe again) said his piece and off he went and didn’t help with the dilemmas and hardships for this couple. ( Some good he was, eh?)
+ They had to travel to Bethlehem while Mary was pregnant, apparently on a donkey ~ not exactly in comfort on rough Palestinian roads.
+ And when they got there, as you remember, there was no room for them in the inn and so we have the Christmas story that children have re-enacted year-after-year ever since.
+ And according to Matthew, they had to flee for their lives into exile into Egypt to escape the violent designs of Herod.
O Joseph, gentle, silent Joseph,
what was it like in your home at Nazareth?
We know you taught Jesus your trade as a carpenter.
Was he a good one? Where you proud of his work?
Were you able to put good food on the table?
Have a nice party with friends and family once in a while?
Were you and Mary very affectionate?
Was Jesus at all mischievous?
Did you live long enough to see Jesus go out into his ministry?
We honor you, dear Joseph, as our Protector and friend!
Pray for us!
And now, before you go, here’s the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with a glorious rendition of Handel’s “And the Glory of the Lord. Click here. Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen.
And here are the readings for today’s Mass. Click here.