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Joseph’s Change of Plans

Julian Paparella

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re not in control of your life? So often we can try to take the driver’s seat, to be in charge of where we’re heading. We can be unsettled when something unexpected happens or disappointed when things don’t go our way. It’s a normal part of being human.
Think of how Joseph must have felt when he realized that Mary, his fiancée, was pregnant. What an unpleasant surprise. In response to this unsolicited turn of events, Joseph does his best to come up with a Plan B. He decides to do what he thinks is best for everyone involved. He will not disgrace Mary or ruin her reputation. He’ll just quietly end things between them so they can both go their separate ways in peace.
Joseph’s plan is a good plan, a caring plan, a loving plan. But God had other plans in store. How often this can happen to us. Our plans are good. They make sense. We have at heart the best interests of everyone involved. We weigh the pros and cons and come to a decision we’re comfortable with. But our plans are not God’s plans. His ways are not our ways. How can we let our plans, our goals, our aspirations be shaped and molded and transformed by God’s dreams for our lives?
Joseph offers us a shining example in this regard. Joseph was open to the words of the Angel, God’s messenger, who spoke to him in a dream: “Joseph, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.” (Matthew 1:20) And that’s exactly what Joseph did. He didn’t insist on his own way. He let the path of his life be guided and transformed by God. Joseph allowed God to take the driver’s seat. And that made all the difference in his life and in the life of the world.
Let us ask Joseph to pray for us, so that we may have his openness, to be willing to let ourselves be changed and surprised by God. God wants to act in you and me. He has dreams and plans for our lives. All he needs is our yes.    


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