Matthew 1: 18-25 Painting and prayer

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“Do not be afraid” Painting: Ronald Raab, CSC 2016

Loving Father, help us not to be afraid when your Son desires to make a home within us. Help us not to fear “God-with-us”. Open up our controlling and self-centered lives so we may all welcome to earth the love you desire for us. Your love is not to keep us safe and secure but to risk everything in order to follow you through the example of Joseph. Your love within us is to keep the immigrant safe, the hungry feed, the child housed and the abused mother safe. Your infinite love and mercy helps us protect the vulnerable and support the feeble. Your love gives us a key to open prison doors, a support to heal the sick, hope to squelch racism and insight to stop human trafficking. Your love helps us not verbally bash people behind their backs and your angel guides us to moments of reconciliation. Faithful God, open us to the surprise and message of angels and saints that your love is more than a dream. Amen

Gospel  MT 1:18-25

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.

 

 

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