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Theotokos: Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Advent
“do not be afraid” (Matthew 1:20)
Joseph felt unworthy, thus he planned “to divorce her quietly.” “Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, do not be afraid’” (Matthew 1:20). Joseph felt unworthy and God knew it. So, God pursued Joseph and in a sense said, “do not be afraid—I will make you worthy.” God took the initiative. God did more than enter into Joseph’s dream, God entered into Joseph’s unworthiness and thereby reminded him that God makes things worthy.
When we feel unworthy there is a deep, subtle, subconscious fear—it is a dread that our deepest fear is true—a fear that we aren’t good enough and God will abandon us. Therefore, as we look at our patterns, we learn more about ourselves. Many of us, when we feel unworthy, distance ourselves from God—we abandon God before God can abandon us.
The good news is that God pursued Joseph. God knew exactly how Joseph felt and said, “do not be afraid.” Likewise, when you and I feel unworthy, and all the fears associated with unworthiness, God whispers to us the same words—“Do not be afraid.”
God will never abandon us. When God has access to all areas of our life, He makes all things worthy. You are worthy because God is worthy. Our worth in life has nothing to do with us and has everything to do with God. Regardless of your past, how people may or may not have loved you—you are worthy. Regardless of your present, and whether or not your life has lived up to the plans you had—you are worthy. Regardless of mistakes, sinfulness, or patterns of distance—you are worthy.
Spend some time with God today. Ask Him, “Why is it that you choose to love me?” Ask Him, “Where does my worth come from?”
For your prayers
Joseph would have prayed with the Book of Isaiah. Prep your imaginative prayer by slowly reading Isaiah 43:1-7 & 49:14-16. Use your spiritual senses and imaginatively pray with Joseph in Matthew 1:20.
“Father, I ask for the grace today to taste your love for me—at all times. I beg you to help me understand your patterns and how you feel about my feeling unworthy.”
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© Fr. Mark Toups, 2015