Thursday, December 15, 2016
How Many Yeses?
I'm not one for holy pictures that make saints look other worldly, I like this image of St Joseph because at least he has muscles, as a carpenter would and looks tired after a long day of work and worry. He looks human...and not stuck as some guy forever holding a lily.
The Gospel this weekend tells us the story of Joseph's visit from an angel and his 'yes' to taking on the role of caretaker, husband and foster father for Mary and Jesus. I find myself wondering how we know this story? Since the dream was Joseph's, who did he tell? Who did he share this vision or dream with? I guess I'll have to presume at some point both Mary and Joseph shared their dreams with each other. Were they trying to understand what their roles were in this most amazing story? Were they trying to understand just exactly how they got to where they were on a particular day? Were they looking back over their history in awe of where their personal 'Yeses' led them?
Hindsight really is 20/20 isn't it? When we take a moment in prayer to look back at how God has led us through the years, over the rough patches and into some very blessed opportunities, it makes me wonder why I would ever doubt God's care for me. In truth, from every event that seemed so horrible, a job lost, a missed chance, a broken friendship has come a new situation that has made my life immeasurably better.
What must it have been like for Joseph and Mary to look back over their lives, their many yeses, and see how God was leading them from one place to the next, helping them create a strong and loving family for Jesus at every moment. I know what that feels like for me, I can't even begin to imagine how much more profound those moments of realization must have been for them.
So, as we come to the end of another Advent I think about "Yes". The many yeses I have tried my best to offer to God over the years, some said with much hesitation, some more bravely, some foolishly...and I think of the incredible "Yes" God offers to me each and every day...
Yes, I will be with you, hold you close and support you.
Yes, I will comfort you when you are afraid.
Yes, I will lead you when you are lost.
Yes, I will laugh with you and share your joy when you are happy.
Yes, I will love you, especially when you feel unlovable...
Yes to you every day my daughter....my child....and I am incredibly humbled.
That's probably a great way to enter into the Christmas mystery this year.
Happy Fourth Week of Advent to each of you.