Jesus had the angels, Mary, the 3 wise men, the shepherds...
... and Joseph.
Warned by the angel in his dream, Joseph took his family on the run to a foreign land. The roads of the ancient world were stalked by thieves and brigands. As they rested by the side of the trail at night every little sound in the darkness must have perked up Joseph's ears, alert for danger.
Joseph was afraid.
They were forced to walk, and this after a long journey to Bethlehem for the Roman census. Joseph must have carried his baby most of the time along with the heavier luggage as they trudged along, mile after mile.
Joseph was tired.
He gave Mary most of the food he scrounged to make sure she could give milk. He surely took as little for himself as possible.
Joseph was hungry.
He didn't know what would come next. Trying to find work and a place to live in Egypt, not knowing the local language, wondering when God would call them home.
Joseph didn't know the details of the future.
During his short, furtive naps, Joseph hoped for another dream to guide him. When his wife and son were asleep, Joseph would often stay awake, despite his fatigue, trying to figure out what to do next, wondering if there would ever be another dream. Maybe, at times, close to desperation, he doubted his mission; maybe he felt tempted to give-up and run away.
Joseph wasn't perfect. He was flesh and blood.
Yet, during quiet moments, he held Mary's hand, and she gripped tight in return, a source of strength and warmth in a hard, cold world.
Joseph loved Mary.
He raised himself up on an elbow, and in the light of a full moon, beheld the two lovely faces of Mary and Jesus, asleep, and his heart practically burst at the beauty of it.
Joseph, full of joy, lifted up his heart to God, gave thanks and prayed: Fiat voluntas tua... Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie...
Publicada por Joao à(s) 12:00 AM
" O Menino do Presépio traz consigo a ternura do amor de Deus por cada homem: um amor sem fim, pessoal, fiel, eterno, salvador.
O Natal não é primariamente apelo à boa vontade dos homens. É, antes de tudo, o anúncio jubiloso da boa vontade e do amor de Deus para com os homens, mesmo para aqueles que possam ser os maiores pecadores.
Celebrar o Natal é entrar no mistério deste amor e deixar-se invadir por Ele.
Celebrar o Natal é também - e de forma inseparável - levar a ternura, a bondade e o amor recebidos de Deus às outras pessoas, desde aquelas que convivem connosco àquelas que mais precisam, socorrendo-as não só com o que sobra mas também com aquilo que faz falta.
A experiência deste amor-que-vem-do-Menino-e-d’Ele-parte-para-os-outros é fundamental para se experimentar o encanto essencial e profundo do Natal e para que as prendas, as refeições requintadas, as boas festas, os enfeites encontrem verdadeiro sentido.
Mais ainda, na medida em que alguém se deixa envolver pela ternura do Amor (caridade) de Deus, nessa mesma medida se torna capaz de presentear os outros com a própria boa vontade e ternura divina, que primeiro recebeu. E, assim, entra no mistério do Natal.
Desejando a todos bom Natal, peço ao Menino Deus - que nos contempla no presépio e que nos procura pelos caminhos da vida – a graça de não esquecermos o essencial do Natal, no meio da azáfama desta festa tão rica e tão bela.
+Gilberto, Bispo de Setúbal"