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Wednesday, December 18, 2002

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Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:18-24

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settling for less?

"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." —Matthew 1:20-21

The Lord gave Joseph a great gift in calling him to be the husband of Mary. Nevertheless, when Mary conceived God by the power of the Spirit, Joseph received a much greater gift — to be the husband of the mother of God and the foster-father of Jesus, Who is God. When Joseph heard about this greatest and mysterious gift, he was, of course, lost. The gift was so far "over his head" that he planned to divorce Mary (see Mt 1:19). Yet by faith Joseph accepted the greater gift and let God love him in such an astounding way.

When the Lord gives us our greatest gifts, we cannot understand it. At first, and even for a long time, we think our greatest gifts are tragedies. Only by faith will we accept these gifts and let God be God.

This Christmas, the Lord wants to be His all-powerful, all-holy, perfect, infinite Self. He wants to do more than we can ever ask or imagine (Eph 3:20). By faith, we can be like Joseph and let God love us with His amazing grace. Then we will not only receive the lesser gifts we are comfortable with but the greater gifts we are confused about and afraid of. "O come all ye faithful!"

Prayer:  Father, may I never settle for less than Your best.

Promise:  "He rescues the poor when they cry out, the oppressed who have no one to help. He shows pity to the needy and the poor and saves the lives of the poor." —Ps 72:12-13

Praise:  "O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, Who showed Yourself to Moses in the burning bush, Who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out Your mighty hand to set us free."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend David L. Zink, June 12, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2002