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December 18, 2015

Mt 1: 18-25

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” 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.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation

Do Not Be Afraid

On the surface, the angel’s words to Joseph seem to be words of comfort, ease and solace. How often do we wish for someone to calm our own fears and erase our worries? But what follows is nothing short of a command to prophetic action. Joseph is asked to risk his reputation, defy custom and trust the impossible.

And what about us? We live in fearful times filled with terrorism, police brutality, violence, racism, and the list goes on. But, in the midst of this world, the angel also calls to us,

“Do not be afraid
to welcome the stranger,
to condemn injustice,
to speak truth in the halls of power,
to make peace in the midst of violence.”

We also are commanded to prophetic action. And, with our response, we can participate in bringing Emmanuel to birth in this broken and aching world.

—Megan Kennedy-Farrell  is Foundation and Community Relations Coordinator at Charis Ministries in Chicago. She lives in Evanston with her husband and two children.

Prayer

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

Please share the Good Word with your friends!

St. Ignatius’s First Principle and Foundation says “The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God's life to flow into us without limit.” One of the ways in which we respond to the love God has given us is through prayer, not only personal prayer but community prayer as well. The Pastoral Ministry Center invites members of our Strake Jesuit Community to share their prayers with us: their concerns, joys, thanksgivings, so that we may walk with them in all these times of their lives.





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December 18, 2015

Mt 1: 18-25

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” 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.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation

Do Not Be Afraid

On the surface, the angel’s words to Joseph seem to be words of comfort, ease and solace. How often do we wish for someone to calm our own fears and erase our worries? But what follows is nothing short of a command to prophetic action. Joseph is asked to risk his reputation, defy custom and trust the impossible.

And what about us? We live in fearful times filled with terrorism, police brutality, violence, racism, and the list goes on. But, in the midst of this world, the angel also calls to us,

“Do not be afraid
to welcome the stranger,
to condemn injustice,
to speak truth in the halls of power,
to make peace in the midst of violence.”

We also are commanded to prophetic action. And, with our response, we can participate in bringing Emmanuel to birth in this broken and aching world.

—Megan Kennedy-Farrell  is Foundation and Community Relations Coordinator at Charis Ministries in Chicago. She lives in Evanston with her husband and two children.

Prayer

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

Please share the Good Word with your friends!