Before anything else, have a blessed Christmas and a grace-filled New Year!
I’m sure you are all familiar with the Christmas story. Can you imagine what would have happened if the angel didn’t appear to Joseph in his dream and said:”Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit…”
Can you also imagine what would have happened if Joseph dismissed the dream as just another dream and didn’t believe what the angel had told him?
But in his righteousness (Matthew calls him a rightheous man), he did as the angel has commanded. His righteousness, his faith, his obedience paved the way for a series of events to happen which eventually led to the birth of Christ in a manger.
Now allow me to go back to that part of the story when Joseph discovered that Mary was pregnant. Under the law during that time, he was to dismiss her. But take note that he had certain options on how to dismiss her. He could have exposed her in public, shaming her and her family, and have her stoned to death.
But he did not. Instead, he chose the path of mercy! He planned to divorce her quietly, without hate, without remorse. He still wanted to protect her, save her from humiliation and spare her life.
As we celelebrate Christmas, let us remember that the Son of God leaving His majestic throne in heaven to become a man like us is not just an act of love but also an act of mercy.
So let us take the path of mercy when dealing with others. It is a hard path to take but nevertheless worth taking. Where would we all be right now if God gave us what we deserve? Surely, we would all be condemned for eternity!
Let us pray that like St. Joseph, God would help us grow in righteousness, a rightheousness that includes mercy, and a faith that believes and acts the moment the opportunity presents itself (like Joseph when he awoke from his dreams), trusting in God’s perfect will.