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Friday, December 30, 2016

Bishop Barron's Daily Gospel Reflection December 30, 2016

Your daily Advent reflection...
Friday, December 30, 2016
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Year I
Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
Friends, in today’s Gospel we see Joseph receiving the Lord’s direction for his care of Mary and Jesus. Joseph listens to God’s word in a dream. Dreams play a very interesting role in the Bible. In the Old Testament Joseph is an interpreter of dreams and successfully reads the dream of Pharaoh; the wise men in the New Testament are redirected to their homeland because an angel appeared to them in a dream. In one of the psalms, we find this line: “even at night, he directs my heart.”

What does it mean that Joseph is willing to listen to the wisdom of a dream? It means that he is willing to go beyond the strictures of the rational mind. Not repudiating them, but going beyond them, thinking in new ways, entertaining unexpected possibilities, plumbing deeper and richer dimensions of his soul. When Joseph and Mary bring the infant Jesus into the temple, therefore, we are meant to appreciate that the prophecy of Ezekiel is being fulfilled. The glory of Yahweh is returning to his favorite dwelling. And this is precisely what Simeon sees.

Are we stymied sometimes because we cannot think out of the box? We can’t expect the impossible? We can’t dream? And is our openness to God’s direction not dependent upon just this capacity? That God becomes one of us in order to save us from our sins. Who would ever even consider this possibility? What an absurdity! Only dreamers.

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