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Thursday, December 18, 2003

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

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from faith through mercy to great faith

"When Joseph awoke he did as the angel of the Lord had directed him and received her into his home as his wife." —Matthew 1:24

Joseph made one of the greatest acts of faith ever when he believed that Mary, his fiancee, was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. The foundation for such a great act of faith was Joseph's righteousness (Mt 1:19) and especially his mercy. As the Lord is both righteous (just) and merciful, so was Joseph. As the Lord's mercy triumphs over His justice (Jas 2:13), so it was with Joseph.

Joseph intended to divorce Mary quietly to protect her from being executed for being an apparent adulteress (Mt 1:19). How merciful it was to protect a person who had presumably cheated on him and ruined his life! Jesus, Joseph's Foster-Son, has died to save us from being damned for our spiritual adulteries. How merciful is our crucified, rejected Lord!

The Lord has given you the gift of faith. That is why you're reading this book about the Mass and the Bible. The Lord may be leading you to make a great act of faith in these last days of Advent to prepare for a true Christmas. The path from some faith to great faith is often the path of mercy. By God's grace, have mercy on those who have sinned against you. Forgive and love all people, especially your enemies. To have the faith of Joseph, have the mercy of Joseph.

Prayer:  Father, may I learn from Joseph.

Promise:  "Blessed forever be His glorious name; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen. Amen." —Ps 72:19

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."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Forgiveness on audio AV 54-1 or video V-54.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003