***New Year's Resolution - update blog every week, preferably on Wednesdays :-)
Matthew 2: 13-15, 19-23
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called my son." But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazarene."
Again, we have an amazing account of Joseph's faithfulness. According to this account, he received these messages in his dreams and the next morning, upon awaking, obeyed. When I was in college, discerning my vocation, one of our priests was known to tell young men discerning the priesthood that if they have a vocation, do not delay! I believe Pope John Paul the Great also exhorted young men this way.
How often do I delay in fulfilling God's will? Remembering the times I have felt complete peace about some decision or plan of action, have I acted immediately? Or do I wait? Do I begin to doubt if it was really from God or if I heard Him correctly? Do I begin to wonder if my own weakness will prevent His will from being accomplished? Do I believe the course is too drastic or sudden of a change for me and/or my family?
Joseph gets up after a dream and leaves one country for another. He subsequently gets up after a dream and changes his ultimate destination. Can you imagine traveling with a woman and young child, knowing He is Jesus the Lord and making such decisions? If you are a man and you can, then you are a worthy head of your family. If you are a woman, would you trust your husband if he came to you saying he saw an angel in his dream?
God speaks to us all in a multitude of mysterious ways, but most of us know the peace we feel when we hear Him speak. With the new year approaching, let us pray longingly for that peace, for that momentary encounter with the Divine, when we hear Him speak to us personally. And, let us pray for the faith and courage to obey His will without delay, turning over our human weakness to His almighty power.