Wednesday, December 24, 2014

United with Joseph by Pope Francis

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United with Joseph by Pope Francis

Rereading chapter 11 of the Letter to the Hebrews with the eyes and the heart of Joseph, let us ponder the Lord’s powerful refrain of Do not be afraid:

Do not be afraid to pass beyond what is visible toward the invisible.

Do not be afraid of Cain, for though dead, you will speak.

Do not be afraid to come close to God, because He exists and rewards those who seek Him.

Do not be afraid to save your family and condemn the world.

Do not be afraid to hope to live in that city whose architect and builder is God.

Do not be afraid to be subjected to the test, even if it costs you your firstborn.

Do not be afraid to believe that by the power of God the walls of the enemy will fall.

Behind this Do not be afraid! stands the Do not be afraid to take up your cross and follow Me. And paradoxically there is also one fear that we should jealously guard:  Therefore, let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into His rest remains, that none of you seem to have failed. (Hebrews 4:1)

The Lord’s Do not be afraid! becomes TAKE COURAGE! With the Letter to the Hebrews and its symbols we can express this Take Courage! as follows:

Have the courage to conquer the Fatherland, even if it entails personal sacrifice.  Have courage to build the City, even if it means abandoning our preconceived ideas about it. 

We rejoice in letting God’s scalpel fashion us a face, even if it effaces certain grins we were fond of.

The courage we have in mind here is the courage to receive the power of God, which is parrhesia (bold assurance) and joyful humor; it is the sage simplicity that will teach us, like Joseph to “welcome the Promise from afar.”

Take time today to read through Matthew 1:18-25

God, You are the source of all holiness.  Though no one can see You and live, You give life most generously, and in an even greater way restore it.  Sanctify your priests through Your life-giving Word, and consecrate Your people in His blood until our eyes see Your face.  Amen.

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