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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Joseph's Dream

"When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home." Mt 1:24

Everyone dreams. Some, hoping to understand their psychic inner life, pay very close attention to their dreams. Others claim never to remember their dreams and have no interest in anything that happens when they sleep, but in the ancient world dreams were often important ways to understand and interpret mysteries. Robert Karl Gnuse reminds us that, "The dreams of kings, priests and those in authority alone were worthy public reports for they were revelations given for the good of the whole society,"(Gnuse) and dreams in the bible are often messages from God.

Matthew tells us that Joseph, wondering whether he should walk away from Mary after learning that she was pregnant, has a dream that radically effects all of us. Because he listened to his dream, Joseph was unafraid to take Mary into his home, an action that told everyone in his village that he would take responsibility for Mary and her baby, a response that challenges us all.

While contemporary men and women might not be as interested as our forebears in dreams, it is important to have dreams, especially about how to proclaim the Gospel and help create a just world. Young people particularly need to hear our dreams, dreams that include their growing as disciples of Jesus Christ. As St Paul reminds us, "How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?" (Rom 10:14-15)

Today, ask the Lord to help you have the faith of Joseph.

What are your faith dreams for the world?

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