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Saturday, December 18, 1999

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Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:18-24

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joseph, an expert on christmas

"Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife. It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this Child. She is to have a Son and you are to name Him Jesus." —Matthew 1:20-21

To prepare us for Christ's Christmas coming, the Church introduced us yesterday to Judah (Gn 49:8). We have already been introduced to John the Baptizer, Elijah, Francis Xavier, Juan Diego, Lucy, John of the Cross, and other Advent saints. Of course, Mary, the immaculately conceived mother of God and our Lady of Guadalupe, is the major saint the Lord has chosen to prepare us for His Christmas coming.

Also, St. Joseph is being more and more recognized as exceptionally important to the Church and her preparation for Christ's Christmas coming. St. Joseph was present for the first Christmas, and he is greatly anointed by his Foster-Son to help us be present for this Christmas season of the Great Jubilee. Joseph teaches us to have faith in the Lord even when we don't or can't understand what He's doing. Joseph models fearless (see Mt 1:20) obedience to the Lord's call (Mt 1:24). Joseph shows us an example of poverty at the manger (Lk 2:7), forgiveness for enemies, and courage in decision-making (see Mt 2:13).

This Christmas more than ever, St. Joseph, pray for us!

Prayer:  Father, deepen my devotion to St. Joseph so as to deepen my worship of You.

Praise:  "O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, Who showed Yourself to Moses in the burning bush, Who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come stretch out Your mighty hand to set us free."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999