Doing the right thing! How did Joseph decide what to do when he discovers that Mary is pregnant? Common sense? The rules of the day? Doing what is proper? Protection from shaming? Joseph apparently is pretty sure what he has to do. But it all changes when an angel appears in a dream, when God enters the picture. Joseph receives new information, new understanding, new courage. What makes Joseph such an honorable man is his capacity to rethink his actions once God enters the picture in a surprising way.
This Sunday’s Gospel gives us an opportunity to reflect on what “fathering” involves today. In all family relationships, I am sure that each of us is caught in dilemmas about what the right thing to do is.
Have there been occasions when you were sure of the proper course of action and been forced to rethink things when you have come to a new understanding of the situation?
How do situations look different once we put God in the equation?
And so we pray: God of possibilities, deliver us from the presumption of thinking we know ahead of time the proper response to your surprising presence in our lives. Help us to remember that you are at work at all times, creating with compassion and mercy, in action for justice.