Fourth Week of Advent

We have reached the final week of Advent. I am excited we get a full, fourth week of this beautiful season because it gives more time for Christmas preparations, but also because my heart needs this last week for continued transformation. This weekend’s Gospel turns our focus to Joseph, someone we do not hear about much, but I have been drawn to this week. The more I learn and pray with scripture, I find myself relating more to Saint Joseph! I put myself in his shoes…I imagine him a planner and one that likes to have things neat and perfect. He finds his world shattered with the news that his wife is expecting a child who is not his and he plans out an honorable way to divorce her quietly. Then in the night his neat, daytime plan is changed, and he empties himself to the messiness of God’s will and plan.  I just articulated what we hear in the Gospel this weekend, but I feel like it is also the work I have been focusing on this Advent. Letting go of control, fear, expectations, judgements, guilt, resentment, doubts, loss, sorrow, and my will while listening to the Holy Spirit and the messiness of God’s plan. How do you need to ready your heart so when God asks you can be ready to answer? Do you need to be emptied so you can be filled with His love and plan? The first words the angel of the Lord said to Joseph were “Do not be afraid.” How do those words resonate in our lives this day? May this final week of Advent be a transformational week so that our hearts are prepared.