Advent Reflection for Today
Today’s Gospel focuses on one of the most beloved saints of all time: a man who is depicted in thousands of pieces of artwork, has many institutions named after him, is a figure of many devotionals, and a prominent character of the Christmas narrative. Yep, you guessed it, St. Joseph.
Today, we hear the story of how Joseph took Mary into his home. At first, Joseph was confused when he found out that Mary was with child. Caught up in the confusion, he intended to divorce Mary quietly. Joseph, being a righteous man and a follower of the Law of Moses, saw this as the best decision which would protect Mary. However, in a way, Joseph chose to protect himself as well and remain in his own comfort rather than face the challenge at hand. How is it then that this man is to become one of the greatest saints of all time and the head of the Holy Family?
The Gospel then tells us that the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to “Be not afraid” to take Mary as his wife and that he would be the foster father of Jesus. Rather than choosing his own comfort, we hear that Joseph awoke and “did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him”. While Joseph was probably still confused and scared, he chose to “Be not afraid” and to trust in God. Joseph recognized his vocation and chose to live it out with greatness. The example Joseph gives us as a man of greatness is drastically different than that of the world. The world tells us that greatness is determined by wealth, social status, accomplishments, and power. Rather, St. Joseph shows us that a man of greatness is one who strives to boldly live out his vocation, to serve others, to remain humble, and to trust in God.
Here at CBC, we strive to meet the characteristics of a Man for Tomorrow: guided by faith, strengthened by intellect, committed to justice, and prepared to lead and serve. I believe that these characteristics set us up for success later in life because they reflect St. Joseph’s example of true greatness.
This Advent, let us see where we can reflect the example of St. Joseph in our own lives. Each and every one of us is called to greatness. Each and every one of us is called to sainthood. May we look to the example of St. Joseph and chose to “Be not afraid” while stepping out of our places of comfort this Advent to do the will of God. May we trust in God and allow Him to enter into our lives and hearts this Advent. It is in doing so that we will rise to true greatness and become the saints we are all called to be.
St. Joseph, pray for us!
— Xander Johnson, Class of 2023