“The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.”
Have you heard that Pope Francis declared this new Liturgical Year to be The Year of Saint Joseph? It’s true. A few months ago, my wife and I did the 33 days of consecration to Saint Joseph, modeled after the 33 days of consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The book on Saint Joseph is filled with unheard of stories by unheard of saints. It was exciting reading.
Do you remember Promise Keepers? It fired up thousands of men across the country to take a bolder stance for the Lord in their families and communities. The Catholic version was called Saint Joseph Covenant Keepers. Several men met at my house for about two years. Both movements started in the early 90’s. Together, we read quite a bit about Saint Joseph. Some call him the forgotten saint. Someone prophesied that he would make himself well-known during the end times.
Today’s Gospel talks about Saint Joseph and his dreams. I guess we all have dreams, but how many of us dream that God is directing us what to do? And if he did, would we really believe it? As my wife will attest, my most frequent dreams have to do with being back in college. It is usually something along the lines of: I forgot to study for a test, I could not remember my locker combination, and many, many more. (There were no dreams about partying!) Before college I would dream about a blimp hovering over my backyard in Ludington. Please do not try to analyze these. I already know the reason for the first one and I do not want to know the second one.
Take some time to put yourself into Saint Joseph’s sandals. First of all, to be a chosen partner of the Holy Family means he was a very faithful man! ( I can hardly wait to meet him!) Being the holy man that he was, he was directed by the Holy Spirit to do what the Lord asked of him. And he obeyed. Pretty simple, right? Yes, but perhaps not so much for us sometimes. Feeling the Lord’s presence and “hearing” his voice is a wonderful gift. Sometimes it is still a challenge to discern what to do. It could be a mini test. The Lord desires a little more of our time spent with him, in a quiet place, just you and him, placing yourself in his love and mercy. In those moments he comes through and your face begins to glow, and your lips form a smile. You have been greatly blessed!
Now take that blessing and apply it to Advent. Now, turn the word dreaming into the word contemplating and reflect on what the Lord has done for you in his great love and mercy. Next week, we will relive the incredible gift that God the Father gave us through his Son. This was and is the greatest gift in the universe. Jesus was sent to earth as a baby, but he knew that he was sent here to save us. Remember, he saved us yesterday, he is saving us today, and he will save us tomorrow. We do need saving. So, in this beautiful season let us prepare ourselves for His coming on Christmas, and His second coming as well. “Oh, that’s great and terrible day.”
Serve with joy!
Deacon Dan Schneider is a retired general manager of industrial distributors. He and his wife Vicki recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They are the parents of eight children and twenty-nine grandchildren. He has a degree in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 2002. He has a passion for working with engaged and married couples and his main ministry has been preparing couples for marriage.
Featured Image Credit: omar trejo, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/4948-san-jose-suenos