Weekly Reflections

Reflection for Dec. 29, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

With a heart of compassion, Joseph cares for Holy Family


by Sister Lynne Marie Simonich

Today we reflect on the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  In the Gospel we see that Jesus was born into a very dangerous world.  Those in power saw him as a threat.  Herod was determined to destroy him.  Joseph listened to a dream -- saving Jesus from Herod's rage.

As we know this was not the first time Joseph listened to a dream.  He took Mary as his wife on the advice of a dream.  He took his family and fled to Egypt and later settled in Nazareth because of a dream.  Joseph would probably tell all of us to pay attention to our dreams and our instincts.  He did just that and directly influenced the history of our salvation.

Joseph was a righteous man and cared deeply for his family.  His way of life is described by St. Paul in our second reading because he certainly "put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."  Joseph with Mary and Jesus portray a "holy" family to all of us -- loving parents who did all they could to protect their child and a child that loved them unconditionally.  What a wonderful example for all families!

  • What makes for a "holy" family in our day?
  • Take time to connect with your family and let them know of your love for them.



Reflection for Dec. 22, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Joseph changes his mind after God changes his heart


by Sister Laura Zelten

On Sunday we light the fourth candle of the Advent wreath. The circle of light is complete and we are only days away from Christmas. The readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent call us to remain open to God and be surprised.

I think that is what happened to St. Joseph. In Sunday's Gospel from Matthew we hear the birth of Jesus from Joseph's point of view. Joseph is faced with a situation that he thinks he knows the best and most just solution. But then an angel of the Lord appears in a dream and tells Joseph that Mary has not been unfaithful and that the child is from God. Joseph has to rethink what is the proper course of action. Joseph is truly an honorable man because of his willingness to trust in God and take Mary as his wife.

Our faith tells us that God is always in the picture. Sometimes we need to re-evaluate and reconsider our actions as the Spirit works in our lives. On occasion we, like Joseph, have to put aside plans to do the will of God. So as we move through Advent toward Christmas we are reminded of God's capacity to guide us to act in surprising ways.

Reflection question:

How do situations look different once I put God in the equation?


God, help us to always remember that you are at work in our lives and in the lives of those around us.