Ora / Pray
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins."All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
Labora / Work
What a wonderful way to end the Advent Season, focusing on St. Joseph. We don’t hear a lot about St. Joseph in Scripture, but he was very prominent in our faith throughout the first 1930 years. St. Joseph is just below Our Blessed Mother in the honor of saints. Are you aware that Joseph was cleansed from original sin just after his conception? In an approved apparition, St. Joseph appeared to Sister Mary Ephrem in 1956 and shared with her that he was cleansed from original sin just after his conception by his future foster-son. (https://www.ourladyofamerica.com/whatsnew/JosephtheHiddenFigureofBethlehem.pdf ) This apparition has been highly promoted by Cardinal Raymond Burke. (https://www.ewtn.com/library/BISHOPS/burkeolamer.htm) St. Joseph is the model husband and father. So as we bring Advent to a close today, bring St. Joseph into the Nativity, both in your own mind and heart and then share his role with your children. Even though most who have been reading these reflections are probably the wives, this is one to share with husbands. In our world today, men need a mentor of successful masculinity. St. Joseph is just that guy!
We hope these Advent Reflections have been beneficial to your marriage this Advent. We will be launching a new mission in January and hope you will be a part of it through reading, prayer, and sharing. Please look for the launching email in January. Our prayers are with you all for a happy, healthy, and holy Christmas Season!