Fr. Rick’s Two Minute Homily for 4th Sunday in Advent 12-17-2022
Matthew 1:1-17 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/121722.cfm
Do Not Be Afraid.
Anyone who suffers from panic attacks knows how crippling they can be. People are afraid to leave their bedrooms or house for days or weeks. We don’t need a panic attack to experience fear. St. Joseph was most likely bewildered and afraid to take Mary as his wife.
She returned from her three-month visit with her cousin, Elizabeth, pregnant. Mary knew the child to be born was the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We know that, but Joseph didn’t. Something striking about St. Joseph is that he wanted to divorce Mary quietly, meaning he didn’t want to shame her. His love for her outweighed his human feelings and reaction to her pregnancy.
The Gospel said when Joseph woke up from a dream, he took Mary into his home. A lot went into his decision to keep his love for Mary in his heart. It didn’t make sense, and he could have ignored the angel’s advice not to be afraid. Because he didn’t ignore it, God worked through him and protected Mary and Jesus on their journeys to Bethlehem, escaping the clutches of Herod’s murderous jealousy; the 120-mile walk to Egypt and back, and losing Jesus for three days when he was 12.
Like his wife, Joseph trusted God when common sense told him to play it safe. God may be calling you and me, ever our parish, deeper into the mystery of His kingdom. It takes courage to trust God and give up control. Don’t ever be afraid to say “yes” to God. If anyone is to be in control of our lives and our parish, we want it to be God. Better Him than us.
Ignite the Fire
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC