Monday, December 17, 2007

Again Live

December 18, 2007

Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

They shall again live on their own land. Jeremiah 23:8

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. Matthew 1:24


Let us pray: God, please awaken us to your message during this Advent season. Use whatever means possible to reveal that message to us. Holy Spirit, give us the strength of will to do as God commands. Amen.


Today, if someone came to us and said he heard voices telling him to do something, we might have him committed to the Cuckoo’s Nest with Randle Patrick McMurphy. Fortunately, Joseph of Nazareth did not face that prospect.

The prophets had been prophesizing for generations. Yet it took one young bride and her groom to listen to the word of God which came to them in a message from an angel. It took one young bride and her groom to obey what God was calling out for them to do. It took one young bride and her groom to act and thereby set in motion the events that will fulfill the prophecies.

However, Joseph thought he would face the gossip of his community and planned to quietly break off his engagement to Mary. Joseph was going to do what he thought was right according to the cultural norms of society for we are told he is a “righteous man.” Instead, he turned away from what everyone else would have done and did it God’s way.

The simple “Yes” was lived out by Mary and Joseph. They listened. They obeyed. They acted. They paved the way for everyone to live again.


You do not have to be Henry David Thoreau and move out to a cabin on Walden Pond.

Think of an example of what society would want you to do but the law of God would ask you to have a different standard.

Every night we can hear television commentators like Lou Dobbs and others speak out against the issue of undocumented women, men and children who are here in the United States. During this holiday season, let us remember that the Holy Family were indeed undocumented refugees in Egypt, hiding to escape Herod’s wrath. Let us pray that our nation will find a way to provide justice for immigrants.

Why not get ready for National Migration Week (January 6-12, 2008) by signing up for the Immigrant Justice Action Network where you can get resources for yourself or your parish? Visit The theme for the week is “From Many, One Family of God.” According to the USCCB statement:

Recalling the migration of the Chosen People from Egypt, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph themselves were refugees in Egypt: "Out of Egypt I called my son" (Mt 2:15). From this account the Holy Family has become a figure with whom Christian migrants and refugees throughout the ages can identify, giving them hope and courage in hard times. (No. 26)

In the Church no one is a stranger, and the Church is not foreign to anyone, anywhere. As a sacrament of unity and thus a sign and a binding force for the whole human race, the Church is the place where illegal immigrants are also recognized and accepted as brothers and sisters. (No. 103)

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