Do not be Afraid

12.18

By Sem. John Paul Toting

December 18, 2019

Some of us wants things to be under control, that all are well. As much as we can, we want the path to be straight and without any obstacles. We want everything to be working smoothly. But all of these are idealistic perspectives! In reality, many things are beyond our control, the paths are never straight and there are many obstacles and challenges along the way, and at times, things may be rough and may not always go our way.

In the Gospel, Joseph was confronted by a very difficult challenge when he learned that Mary is pregnant. I could imagine how devastating it is for him to accept it; that is why he decided to divorce her. But amidst this challenging situation, we can see that God is at work – He sent His angel to Joseph in a dream to assure him that all is working according to His plan.

The invitation of the Gospel for us is not to be afraid and to put all our trust in God. That no matter how hard or devastating our current situation may be, God is working and He will never leave us. May we see every hardships and challenges as an opportunity to grow in order to bear good fruits for the harvest. As the Angel had said, “…do not be afraid…”

THE GOSPEL

MT 1:18-25

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.

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