December 18, 2021
Late Advent Weekday
God’s Message
When Joseph awoke, he…took [Mary] his wife into his home.
Matthew 1:24

Joseph is in a very difficult circumstance, a struggle between his head and his heart. Based on a divine message in a dream, he takes Mary as his wife. It goes beyond all common sense and reasoning. We can only wonder how he desires to justify his decision to family and friends.

We, realizing that life is not black or white but challenged by the gray area, may be at a crossroads in life. In these hard moments, we look to St. Joseph and ask him, as he did, to help us surrender in absolute faith. Sometimes this will mean our heart may dominate our reasoning, but we are convinced that, whatever the ramifications, we are being true to God’s will as we perceive it in the here and now.

We may not see the future, but courageous righteousness will carry us through.

St. Joseph, grant us the courage to be faithful to God’s message in our dreams.

- Sr. Bridget Haase O.S.U.

Jeremiah 23:5-8 • Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19 Matthew 1:18-25

Comments

December 21, 2021 at 05:13 AM

This devotional gave me some reassurance this morning. My beautiful 34 year old son died tragically last Tuesday. We had his funeral this past Saturday. Things are upside down right now but I will pray to st Joseph to make some sense of them.

December 18, 2021 at 02:34 PM

This photo for today reminds me of lines from the Robert Frost poem : “Two roads diverged in the woods. I took the one less traveled and it has made all the difference.” ( I think I have paraphrased this a bit) To me the road to heaven is, sadly, the road less traveled. But we continue, as faithful Catholic Christians, to follow that narrow, bumpy and sometimes difficult road that leads to eternal life.

Salina
December 18, 2021 at 04:29 PM

Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”

December 18, 2021 at 11:25 AM

Amen!

December 18, 2021 at 11:03 AM

Thank you thank you to everyone who has been praying for My Sister Rosie! She is doing so very well, I believe we have received a Christmas miracle! God willing she will be coming home tomorrow! Please continue your prayers for her as she recuperates and regains her strength! I am so grateful to God for the miracle of his holy sacraments! Never, never doubt the power of the sacraments!If someone is sick in your family please call your Priest and have them anointed with the anointing of the sick!

December 18, 2021 at 09:43 AM

Thanks for the reminder Sr. Bridget. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before. I spoke to my friend Bryan last year who has gained so much wisdom in recovery. As i was walking through a host of issues I’d been having with my daughter and how I’d been trying to control the outcome, he simply said to me, “Jane, God has a plan for her and God has a plan for you. And they are not the same.” And with these simple words, I surrendered to God in faith that His will would be done. My trying to control everything would not be allowing His plan to unfold. I struggle with creating the right environment for things to happen without controlling it. God, let me continue to surrender in faith.

Jane
December 19, 2021 at 09:26 AM

Salina, Bryan is in recovery for alcohol addiction. He is a light to me and i can see God working in him.

Salina
December 18, 2021 at 04:33 PM

What was Bryan recovering from last year? I’m curious, Bryan seems to know God well?

Vicky G
December 18, 2021 at 10:17 AM

Many times Jane I’ve had to remind myself “I’m not God”. I can’t fix things for everyone and I can’t reward everybody for good deeds nor give them the right advice/words for misdeeds. I can drive myself crazy with “I should have said this, I should have done that because it may have made a difference”. God has plans and as long as I do my best to lead by example, try to say what the Holy Spirit encourages me to say and make an effort within my strength, I can know God has a reason and purpose for what’s happening around me. Hang in there!

December 18, 2021 at 09:20 AM

“Surrender in absolute faith”. May I remember these words when I’m in a grey area of my life. Thank you Sr. Bridget for these words today.

Jane
December 18, 2021 at 09:37 AM

Sandi…I couldn’t agree more. It requires a lot of trust and faith to do that!

December 18, 2021 at 09:14 AM

When it goes beyond all common sense and reasoning, this is how I to proceed with and justify my decision to family and friends: Knowing WHAT I believe in God Himself through my personal relationship with Him and studying His Word in Scripture daily, knowing WHY I believe in God Himself through the power of the Holy Spirit daily, and knowing HOW I can explain to others what and why I believe!!! *** God tells me WHAT He wants me to know in Scripture! The Holy Spirit explains to me WHY in Scripture so I understand! And then I know HOW to explain to others What I believe and Why I believe in my sharing! *** Look at the first reading today, God has told the Israelites long ago that a Savior would come from the line of King David and the tribe of Judah in Jeremiah 23:5-6a, "I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; As King He shall reign and govern wisely, He shall do what is just and right in the land. In His days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security." *** The problem was they only hung onto one saying and not the whole counsel (all Scripture) of God through the Holy Spirit. You see they didn't have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as we do these days after Jesus went back to His Father. So they expected a "King" to come and reign like an earthly king! ******* Mary and Joseph were able to obey immediately because they were familiar with the Scripture from a very young age. So when they heard what the angels told them about Scripture being fulfilled, they said yes! *** Luke 1:31-33, 37, "You will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end...For the Word of God will never fail!” *** Matthew 1:22-23, "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.”" *** Do I feel like what is going on in the world right now is beyond common sense and reasoning? Yes, I do! So Who and where do I look for directions/decisions and answers? ******* Here is what Jesus said in Luke 21:11-19, "There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven. But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are My followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. And everyone will hate you because you are My followers. But not a hair of your head will perish! By standing firm, you will win your souls." Not just my own soul, but 'souls!' Praise You Lord Jesus Christ, Who reigns forever and ever, Amen!!!

Salina
December 18, 2021 at 05:40 PM

God provides opportunities to practice and words to say in situations just like He said in Scripture :-) *** I went and picked up Katie’s cat before Thanksgiving 4.5 hours away. I brought Simone back a week later when Katie and her boyfriend came back from Thanksgiving with his family. I dropped them off at the airport. I came in a day earlier before picking them up from the airport to clean their bathrooms, microwave and kitchen in their apartment. I bought their cat food from OpenFarm, sWheat Scoop Wheat-Based Natural Cat flushable Litter from Amazon. I brought food for the fridge. And I went over the boundary and did one load of laundry. To make the long story short, Katie didn’t appreciate most of the things I did for her. Actually she was mad at me to the point where she put all the stuff I bought and put them by the door when I came back from the treadmill Sunday morning. I was beside myself. She told me to take everything back. I was mad, very mad and I told her, “I’m so mad right now! I’m going to take a shower!” It was a good thing I did. I was able to ask help from the Holy Spirit and He gave me words to say, “Katie, you hold my past against me, you have no grace and mercy as I ask you to keep these things since I don’t have a cat. Ipromise I won’t do that again.” But she didn’t change her mind. I left with the cat food and food from the fridge :-( We did try to talk and had group hug before I left one day earlier than I planned because I was not welcome to stay another day. All was good but not perfect! As I was driving, Holy Spirit gave me an idea and I called Katie and asked her if I can buy Simone Christmas present. She said, “Yes, but no toys!” You see, I bought a cat toy house for Simone when I brought her home for Thanksgiving. Katie didn’t like that even when I told her it was not for her apartment but for Simone’s future visit. I told her I will be wrapping up the cat food for Christmas :-) The 4.5 hours drive was good and sad! Good when God reminded me of my BSF lesson the day before. Sad when I realized God was still not enough for me. If God was enough, I wouldn’t be mad at Katie’s action. *** My BSF lesson in Matthew 9:36, “When He (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” The question was, “What motivated the compassion Jesus felt for the gathering crowd?” I went and looked at all the other Bible translations on what words are used for harassed and helpless. Here are the words I found: confused, dispirited, distressed, worried, confused, aimless, weary, scattered, they did not know what to do or where to go for help! Wow, I told Jesus that I want to have compassion on others like Him. And here in my car ride home He said, “Here is your opportunity to have compassion on Katie!” I replied, “I do now, Lord Jesus! Just as You had compassion on me when I rejected You!” *** Another lesson from BSF Matthew 9:9, “As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow Me,” He told him, and Matthew got up and followed Him!” Why did Matthew put his own encounter with Jesus in the midst of the miracles? Then I realized this is the ultimate miracle of Salvation above all physical miracles. It is the ultimate miracle because it is not that when Matthew believed but that Matthew believed! ******* I am grateful for these lessons, I can’t say I look forward to them…may be someday soon :-) I also learned a new phrase when I am surprised by unexpected circumstances, “Holy Joy!” Instead of what I used to say, “holy sxxt,” I pray for joy in all circumstances, good bad badder and baddest :-) Saying, “Holy Joy!” will remind me of that…

Gayle
December 18, 2021 at 09:25 AM

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

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