In his address for yesterday's Sunday Angelus, the final such audience before Christmas, Pope Francis urged believers to contemplate St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, who he says was faithful to the call of the Lord in his life despite a set of circumstances that many would call impossible. "St. Joseph was not stubborn in following his own life plans, he did not allow resentment to poison his soul, but he was prepared to make himself disposed to the news that, in a disconcerting way, was presented to him,” the Pope reflected. “He was following a good life plan, but God had kept a different design for him, a greater mission. Joseph was a man who always listened to the voice of God, profoundly amenable to God’s secret will, a man attentive to the messages that came from the depths of the heart and from above.”
The road that St. Joseph was compelled to take was not an easy one, the Holy Father recalled, pointing out that his reaction on finding that Mary was pregnant was a normal and human one. “The gospel does not explain what his thoughts were, but it tells us the essentials: that he seeks to do the will of God, and he is ready for a radical renunciation,” the Pope said. The Holy Father said that it is important that in the lead-up to Christmas “we must meditate on these words (of the gospel) in order to understand the trial that Joseph had to sustain in the days preceding the birth of Jesus,” the Pontiff said. “Accepting the Lord’s plan, Joseph fully found himself, beyond himself… his full interior openness to the will of God challenges us and shows us the way.”
“Let us thus prepare ourselves to celebrate Christmas contemplating Mary and Joseph: Mary, the woman full of grace who had the courage to entrust herself fully to the word of God; Joseph, the faithful and just man who preferred to believe the Lord rather than listen to the voices of doubt and human pride.With them, let us journey together toward Bethlehem,” Francis said.