By Father Andrew Kelly
What does the first sentence of Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 1:18-25) mean in the believing community? “Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.”
Matthew’s concern is how Christ is born into the believing community generations after the time of Jesus.
Joseph is presented as the ideal believer. Joseph is humble and listened to the mystery without any guarantee of understanding. But Joseph responded in faith:
“When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.”
Advent season stirs the believing community to probe deeply the meaning of: “Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.” On this day of 2010, is Christ being born into the community?
Joseph is the model who listened to, obeyed and acted upon God’s word. Christ was born into time.
Every Sunday the Scriptures are proclaimed and the body and blood are consumed. Joseph listened and obeyed. Is the community listening and obeying? If so, behold: “Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mechanicsville.)