Working with the Word
Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: how the birth of Jesus Christ came about, through the Holy Spirit, God is with us
To the point: In this Gospel, the state of affairs is not what it appears to be. Mary is not unfaithful, but faithful. Mary is with child, but a virgin. The infant is not only an earthly child, but also a heavenly One. Yet the infant is not heaven-bound, but an earth-bound Emmanuel. Joseph is not the father, but in a father’s role names the Child Jesus. When the Spirit of God is at work, and we cooperate as did Mary and Joseph, something altogether new happens: mystery abounds, “God is with us.”
Connecting the Gospel …
… to the first reading: It is the gifts of the “grace of apostleship” and “obedience of faith” that enable us to cooperate with the “Spirit of holiness,” as did Mary and Joseph. Mystery abounds and something new happens in us: “God is with us.”
… to experience: Mystery abounds when we are willing to relinquish control and open ourselves to the unexpected.
**From Saint Louis University