God with Us
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife into his home.
- Mark 1: 23-24
As the advent season draws to a close, we remember Joseph: a righteous man faced with what could be the most difficult and important decision in his life. His betrothed was pregnant; unwilling to expose her to shame and ruin her life, he was going to quietly walk away. That is, until the Angel challenged him to not be afraid and to embrace his role as the earthly father of Jesus, the long-awaited messiah. Throughout the history of our salvation, God time and time again asks his people to embrace the seemingly impossible, to not be afraid of persecution and judgment, but rather trust Him and his plan for us. Jesus’ title of Emmanuel is a reminder that through it all, God is with us in a real, tangible way, especially in the moments we are asked to embrace that which is so much greater than ourselves and we could be tempted, for righteous reasons, to walk away.
St. Paul exhorts us as God’s chosen people to “put on…heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…and over all these, put-on love, that is, the bond of perfection…and be thankful.” By God’s grace and thanks to the hard work of all pastors, parishioners, and staff involved, we have not only met but surpassed our goal for Wave 2 of Called to Renew. We have been asked to grow in our capacity to love one another, to respond to a great need, and work together, as God’s people to build his Kingdom here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; we’ve responded with a resounding yes! As Called to Renew moves forward may we all continue to embrace the seemingly impossible, made possible because God is with us.