Dramatis Personae

(from the 2010 Magnificat Lenten Companion)

The angel doesn't command Joseph to take Mary as his wife; he tells him not to fear doing so. "Joseph, the good news is that your dream can come true. What you assumed would end your marriage is in fact the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The Holy Spirit and a heaven-sent Son are now in this larger picture, and you're the man!" Divine and human plans come together. Joseph feels ecstatic joy when the crushing report of human infidelity is changed into the astounding news of divine fidelity. Yet God's entry here, due not to sin but to the nature of personal relationships and marital love, is admittedly awkward. His coming into our world as a real actor and not simply as divine director and producer can alter our meticulous plans and cause real disruptions. The problem is that he has make this theater work too well when he simply remains in the background. So when the Lord shows up to play a part as well, whether in ancient Israel, Mary's womb, or my personal life, dislocation ensues. No problem. Like Saint Joseph, I'm expected to have a plan for my life, yet understand it as a provisional scene in a larger work. My life is part of the divine drama, yet my role is indispensable and I contribute to the story line.

Reflection based on Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a
Father Lawrence Donohoo, OP

Loving Father, through Saint Joseph's intercession help me to
accept the entry of your will into my plans so that my will
can enter into your plans.

Today's suggested penance: Reconnect with someone who was responsible for generating faith in you.