Saying ‘Yes’ to God

How did Joseph feel when he learned that Mary, his bride, was expecting a child before they had come to live together? The only explanation that Joseph could think of was that Mary had been unfaithful to him. He would feel betrayed. But he was a good man, and so he didn’t seek punishment for Mary, but instead chose to end their engagement quietly.

Joseph made an honourable decision. But God called him to go further. The angel proclaimed to Joseph that Mary had not betrayed him; her child had been conceived by the Holy Spirit. It must have seemed almost impossible to believe. But Joseph put his trust in God and took Mary to his home.

It took great courage for Joseph to obey God’s commandment, given to him through the angel – just as it took great courage for Mary to accept her own part in God’s plan of salvation, bearing the Son of God in her womb. The plan was unfolding as foretold by the prophet Isaiah in today’s First Reading. But it all depended on the cooperation of Mary and Joseph; God respected their free will, and, freely and bravely, they said ‘Yes’ to God.

We each have our own part to play in God’s plan for the world. We have free will, and we can choose whether to respond to God’s call. God asks us, like Mary and Joseph, to embrace our vocation with a wholehearted and courageous ‘Yes.’

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