December 18, 2015

Theotokos: Friday of the Third Week of Advent

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Theotokos: Friday of the 3rd Week of Advent

and took his wife into his home” (Matthew 1:24)

Obedient to God’s command, Joseph reached out to Mary “and took his wife into his home.” In doing so, Joseph and Mary transitioned from their temporary betrothal and embraced the fullness of marriage. During the initial days of Joseph taking Mary into his home there was much to discuss. Mary was certainly interested in how Joseph grew from wanting to “divorce her quietly” to wanting to “take her into his home.” Likewise, Joseph was certainly interested in Mary. He would have inquired more about the Annunciation. He would have wanted to know about her emotions. He would have asked about her health, about the baby, and how he could best support her. It was a time of listening to each other. It was a time of talking to each other. It was a time of intimacy.

Unfortunately, our culture equates sex and intimacy as the one and the same. While the Scripture and Tradition teach us that Mary enjoyed perpetual virginity, their marriage was certainly one of profound intimacy. In fact, because of the spiritual maturity that imbued their chastity, Mary and Joseph enjoyed the most intimate of any marriage. Intimacy is a gift; however, there are prerequisites for intimacy. Intimacy requires honesty. It requires vulnerability. It requires complete self-donation and unbridled receptivity. The intimacy that Mary and Joseph enjoyed required all these. Likewise, intimacy with God requires the same.

We were made for intimacy with God. However, our relationship with God requires the same disposition as intimacy with others. We have to be honest. We have to be vulnerable. We have to spend time, commit, and listen. God wants an intimate relationship with you. What do you want in your relationship with God? Ask God what He desires—with you, for you, in you.

For your prayer

Mary and Joseph would have prayed with the Book of Isaiah. Prep your imaginative prayer by slowly reading Isaiah 61:10-62:5. Use your spiritual senses and imaginatively pray with Mary and Joseph in Matthew 1:24.

“Father, I want to taste your desire for intimacy with me. I beg you to help me grow in honesty, vulnerability, and union with You.”

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© Fr. Mark Toups, 2015