By Sem. Gerald Moscardon
Men have a knack of planning out their lives, sometimes, down to a tee. We set life goals and we check our progress every now and then. We want to make sure that we are on track with our plans. But what if our lives go off track? What if life throws a curve ball and we suddenly lose control of our lives? Since the beginning of my seminary formation, life has been throwing curve balls at me. There were so many surprises and I was not really prepared for them. I was caught off guard many times and the need to take control surged strongly. But I was reminded of a fact, not only in my formation journey, but in life – I am not alone. God is with me. Fear and anxiety were replaced by faith and trust. Control was replaced by surrender. When we realize that God is truly with us, we surrender our plans; we surrender our journey to our ever-trustworthy, constant companion who knows the way.
Joseph had plans too. He was to become the husband of Mary. His life was set. But something unexpected happened and his plans went off track. Mary was already pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Joseph, being a righteous man, knew that the only way was to follow what he thought was God’s way. Joseph had a plan B, to divorce Mary quietly. Through an angel, he was reminded that God is His constant companion, and this will truly be enfleshed in Jesus, the Father’s Son in his protection. When he was reminded of who Jesus is – Emmanuel, “God is with us”, he dropped all his plans and surrendered to God’s plans. Jesus became his constant companion and his life never went off track. We all need to be reminded our constant companion who never left our side in spite of our forgetfulness and our lack of awareness of His presence. He always invites us to take His road, the road to God’s will that He knows so well. Our constant companion has been there and has done exactly that – obedience to God’s will. To whom, then, will we entrust our life journey?
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 conceive 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.