21 December 2013

THE DREAM THAT GAVE US CHRISTMAS

4th Sunday of Advent
Mt 1:18-24 (Is 7:10-14 / Slm 23 / Rom 1:1-7)

In the Bible, we have two Josephs who are remembered for their dreams. Both are also sons of a man named Jacob.

The first Joseph is from the Old Testament.  He dreamt of greatness over and above his household.  He was proven right when, despite the evil schemes of his brothers, he rose to power over Egypt, second only to the pharaoh himself.  Thanks to his talent of interpreting dreams!  As he rose to power, however, he did not go down to the level of his brothers by getting even with them.  He saved from hunger the brothers who fed him to slave traders.

The second Joseph is from the New Testament.  He dreamt about the greatness of the Child his fiancée conceived.  The Child was not his but was made his.  Thanks for his deep love for God.  That love for God created in him a healthy fear of the Lord.  Because he loved God, Joseph loved those whom God loved.  With a singular love, God had for Mary, Joseph’s fiancée.  And so Joseph loved Mary like no other.  Thus, he did not give Mary to the cruelty of Judaic law that would rather have Mary stoned to death for conceiving a Child outside of marriage.  Revealed to him in a dream, Joseph obeyed God’s will and gave us Christmas.

Most people love dreaming.  It is free for anyone to dream…sky is the limit!  But dreams come true only when the dreaming ends and the waking begins.  The same is true for our two Josephs.  The Joseph in the Old Testament woke up after every dream he had and acted according to his interpretation of each dream.  Our Joseph in the New Testament, the husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus, also woke up after his dream today and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.  Oh, this second Joseph had many dreams and each time he woke up to act on God’s will.

Dreams are good.  But no matter how good they are, they become nightmares when they extend our slumber in a world that wakes us up instead.  When we cannot wake up anymore, dreams can kill us.  Dreams are supposed to wake us up!

Christmas is God’s dream for us.  Like Joseph in the Gospel today, it must wake us up so that Jesus may be born.

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