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Theotokos: Thursday of the 3rd Week of Advent
“he did as the angel commanded him” (Matthew 1:24)
When Joseph awoke from his dream “he did as the angel commanded him.” Joseph’s obedience to the will of God implies Joseph’s cooperation with a Divine plan. However, Joseph’s obedience, while illustrating his cooperation, doesn’t guarantee his understanding the details therein. The Scriptures tell us that Joseph surrendered to the command of God. However, there is no mention of Joseph understanding why God chose him. Therefore, certainly the conversation between Joseph and God didn’t end with his dream; perhaps it was there that it really began.
In a related way, yesterday we unpacked the importance of waiting—waiting with God. Many times God does not answer our prayers how we had hoped or when we had expected. Yet, wisdom tells us we are to wait—and wait with God. While we wait with God it is important that we ask God to help understand why we are waiting. What does He want to do in our life while we wait? What does He want to do in someone else’s life while we wait? Furthermore, it is important for us to be honest with God so that we are certain that God understands how we feel.
Many of us, when we have to wait on God, feel a temptation to check out and give up. Resist that temptation. Tell God how you feel. Relate all your thoughts, feelings, and desires. In your prayer, empty your heart and tell God everything. Then, be patient and listen. Ask God to help you understand what is going on. Listen to the quiet voice within. Pay attention to what the Scriptures say to you. Look for signs in your life. Spend some time today with Mary and Joseph and ask them to help you understand the ways of God. God is doing something in your life—ask Him to help you understand what that is.
For your prayer
Joseph would have prayed with the 2nd Book of Samuel. Prep your imaginative prayer by slowly reading 2nd Samuel 22:26-31. Use your spiritual senses and imaginatively pray with Joseph in Matthew 1:24.
“Father, I desire to taste your fidelity. Help me to help me understand your desire for my well-being—even if I don’t understand your timing.”
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© Fr. Mark Toups, 2015