Pastor’s Weekly Message 12-18-22

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

In the Gospel today we encounter a person whose actions truly speak louder than his words. Joseph’s words are not recounted in Sacred Scripture, but his actions play a vital role in salvation history. We can only imagine what Joseph initially made of Mary’s story, that she had been visited by an angel, told she was to be the mother of God, and was now pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Even in the face of this incredible tale, Joseph is unwilling to subject Mary to shame and so intends to divorce her quietly. He receives his own angelic visitation in a dream that night, and, against all logic, accepts the word of God’s messenger and does as he commands. Like his wife Mary, he chooses to say “yes” to God, and offers himself to God’s service with an open heart and willing spirit.

When did you last hear God’s invitation to join Him on the salvation journey? Participation in God’s work is not limited to historical saints. It is a part of our Baptismal call to  also say yes to being God’s instruments, His eyes and ears, hands and feet, in the world, just as He asked Joseph to care for and raise His Son. It feels however, that there is more noise in our modern world of global connectivity and social media competing for our attention than at any previous point in history. It is even more vital then, that we take time to silence that noise and let God speak to us in prayer, or even in our sleep. Of course, our Advent scriptures remind us that our God is a God of surprises and the unexpected, so perhaps God will speak to us as we scroll through social media!

Wherever we encounter God’s call, Joseph offers us a blueprint of how to respond. Rather than resisting what he cannot understand, Joseph enters into the mystery, partnering with God to the best of his ability and remaining open to God’s guidance. It is my prayer as we near the end of this Advent season, that our community may follow his example into the New Year.

I wish you and your loved ones Advent blessings of good health, great hope, and an attentive spirit,

Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.

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