The Jesse Tree
December 18 of Advent: Joseph
A Reading from the Gospel According to Matthew (1:18-25):
“Now 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.”
O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, You disclosed to Joseph, Mary’s husband and a righteous man, that the child conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit and the Savior of the world. Trusting in Your word, he did as You commanded and took Mary into his home. He took Jesus as his own Son and raised him in loving care. May we follow his example and bring Mary into our own homes, extending to her the reverence that is her due as the Mother of God, and take Jesus, too, as our own, for He is our salvation. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.