The Advent season though it is a time of preparation and anticipation or a time of waiting for the birth of our Savior, is a season centered on Faith, Hope, Trust and Obedience to God. Saint John the Baptist, the figure of the Advent season, has for the past three weeks now, called our attention to prepare the way of the Lord, by spiritually preparing ourselves to welcome Him on Christmas Day. Today, the Church gives us Mary and Joseph, to help us with this preparation for the first coming of Christ.

It doesn’t matter if you are scared, worried, discouraged, disappointed, undergoing hardships, difficulties, sorrow or pain, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ on Christmas Day, takes care of all these issues, because God will show us His mercy and love, with the gift of His Son. Faith, Hope, Trust in the Lord and Obedience to Him seems to be the theme of today’s gospel reading, as it tells us the story of Joseph’s acceptance of Mary with child as his wife, and his obedience to God’s will.

Try to imagine Mary, a young woman who just attained the age of marriage, betrothed to a man, found with a child not from the man she was betrothed to. Remember as we heard in the story of the Annunciation, when angel Gabriel visited Mary and relayed God’s message to her, that she was scared, worried and confused, but still said ‘yes’ to God. Also remember that after this, she must have been even more scared and worried, about how she will explain this to her family and to Joseph. She must have tried to explain to her family members and even to Joseph, that she was pregnant, and that the child in her, was conceived through the Holy Spirit. But no one would believe such a story. To this, Mary just left everything in God’s hands with her Faith, Hope, Trust in God and was Obedient to Him, because it was His will to place her in such a situation, and He would surely show her a way out.

Also try to imagine Joseph faced with such a dilemma of finding out that his betrothed wife, Mary, was pregnant with someone else’s child. He was faced with the decision of charging her with adultery, and publicly disgracing her. He was also faced with the fear of being accused of breaking the Jewish betrothal laws, which demands that both couples should practice chastity, until after the marriage ceremony, because Mary was with child. He was also faced with the decision of sending Mary away quietly and divorcing her, so as not to shame her publicly.

With all these issues to deal with in his union with Mary, Joseph was confused, scared and worried, because he was a righteous, good, loving and just man. But before he could make his decision, an angel from God came to him in a dream and commanded him to take Mary into his home as his wife because, it was through the Holy Spirit that the child in her has been conceived. And that the child, Jesus, will save His people from their sins. Joseph did as he was commanded, because of his Faith, Hope, Trust and Obedience to God.

My brothers and sisters, Mary and Joseph’s Faith, Hope, Trust and Obedience to God is what the Church highlights for us to imitate today, as we prepare to welcome Jesus into our lives and world on Christmas Day. So, no matter the struggles or challenges you are facing today, always have Faith, Hope and Trust in the Lord and be Obedient to His commands like Mary and Joseph, because, if God placed you in such a situation, He would surely show you a way out as well.