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A Job for Everyone

Sunday's (December 18, 2022) Gospel reading (Matthew 11), is also the Gospel for the Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve. This Gospel passage starts with a geneology, beginning with Abraham and ending with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Next, it describes the birth of Jesus, but focusing on Joseph - who wanted to divorce Mary quietly. But, an Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, and gave him two commands:

1. “Joseph, .. do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home."


2. "You are to name him Jesus."

The Angel tells Joseph that this child to be born "will save his people from their sins."

The Gospel tell us that Joseph "did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him". Specifically,

1. "He took his wife into his home."


2. "He named him Jesus."

After thinking about the Gospel this week, I wanted to share this idea:

God invites us to participate in His salvation of the world.

One example is Abraham, the first person mentioned in this week's Gospel. In Genesis 12:1-2, we were told this about Abraham: "The LORD said to Abram: Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you." And Abram did what the Lord told him. He could have said no. I wonder if God chose Abraham because he wanted to have a people, a nation, and a culture who could be prepared to raise the Mother of Jesus.

Then there was Mary. The Lord invited Mary to be the mother of Jesus. She could have said no. Perhaps the Jewish people, descending from Abraham, and all their history, culture, and religion, prepared her to say yes to God.

Joseph in today's Gospel is asked to take Mary into his home and name the child Jesus. And he does.

Each of them, and many others in the Scriptures, was called to attend to a specific task and role in the completion of God's plan. I think we are too. As St. Pope John Paul II said, God invites to be his co-creators, co-redeemers, and co-sanctifiers.

What is God calling you to do? Imagine God saying to you, "I want to save the world - will you help me?"

What might he be asking you to do?

How will you respond?

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