December 18 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Have you ever had a dream for yourself or family and saw it realized; whether it be personal, spiritual, or vocational?  It’s usually an unforgettable moment filled with great joy.  I have been blessed to be able experience this in my own life on various occasions: from running a marathon with my sister two years after my last chemo, to desiring to hear the Lord’s voice in prayer, to responding to the Lord’s calling in my ordination to the priesthood.  All were unforgettable and joyful moments where dreams were fulfilled!

St. Matthew’s Gospel is known as the fulfillment Gospel.  Throughout his Gospel, St. Matthew writes, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet…”  St. Matthew is preparing his readers to receive the dream given to all of humanity—the dream to be once again reunited with our God and creator.

For St. Joseph, this dream was literally his own. An angel of the Lord explained to St. Joseph in his dreams what was soon to come and the role that he was invited to play.  Although it took great courage, St. Joseph answered the call to participate in this dream. He knew that the very same God who freed Israel from slavery in Egypt, who fed His people in the desert, and who promised to once again deliver His people from bondage, was reaching out him in this dream.

That dream can be ours as well—and not only a dream, but the fulfillment of that dream! It takes great courage to follow God’s lead, even if His promises seem hard to believe, but for those who follow it, they will know the greatest dream of all to come true in their own lives. Let us unite ourselves with St. Joseph this week as prepare for Christmas. For on Christmas day, we receive Emmanuel anew—God with us—the greatest dream to ever come true!

Father Michael