Joseph woke up (Mt. 1:24) from his dream and everything had changed. Why? He woke up to God’s plan. How many nights must sleep have evaded him as he wrestled and struggled with the news
of Mary’s pregnancy. Her silence, her reliance solely on God to communicate the truth. He was not the father of her child. This he knew with absolute certainty. And yet, being a man of honour he wanted to spare her the ignominy of being condemned publicly and stoned to death for adultery.
After so many nights of turmoil, he eventually falls into a deep slumber. His mind which had been
a beehive of activity is now silenced with sleep. Offering less resistance, the still small voice of God (1Kgs. 19:12) is able to break through in his dream and wake him up to the Father’s plan. Being a man of integrity, he makes a decision not simply based on good reasons, but based on faith in response to God’s plan. The course of action that lies ahead of him has become clear. He has listened to the voice of God in his dream. Like Mary, he gives his ‘yes’ to God’s plan, surrendering to the will of God.
What are you and I being asked to wake up to?
Last August, we dedicated (2017-18) to God the Father. As Salesians living in Ireland and Malta we are invited, with the members of the Salesian family, friends of Don Bosco and the young, to learn from St Joseph so as to wake up to the Father’s plan for us. This is the clarion call of Pope Francis that consecrated religious are called to wake up the world.’1 He continues:
It was during Joseph’s rest and sleep that God’s will was revealed to him. In this moment of rest in the Lord, as we pause from our many daily obligations and activities, God also speaks to us. But like St Joseph, once we have heard God’s voice we must rise from our slumber; we must get up and act.’2
God has a dream and a plan for us:
Now I am revealing new things to you, things hidden and unknown to you, created just now, this very moment, of these things you have heard nothing until now, so that you cannot say, ‘Oh yes, I knew all this.’”(Isa.48:6-7).
Let us remember that it is the Father who sends his Son into the world. The Father with the Son sends the Spirit of their love into our hearts so as to continue the Son’s mission in the world. The Father entrusts us, like St Joseph, with
a special mission to his little ones. St Joseph guardian of God’s dream pray for us; Mary Immaculate who ponders God’s dream in her heart and brings it to birth, pray for us; St John Bosco, apostle of the young, keep us faithful to the dream of God for his little ones, pray for us. May the blessing of God descend upon each one of you as you cherish and fulfil God’s dream for you: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Fr Eunan McDonnell SDB
¹ Pope Francis, Address to Union of Superior Generals, 29.11.2014.
² Pope Francis, Discourse to meeting of families, Mall of Asia Arena (Manila), 16.01.2015.