Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.
When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’
All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’, which means, ‘God is with us.’
When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
Conversation: When you come towards the end of your time of prayer, talk to
Jesus, or Joseph or Mary about what has come up for you. Imagine how they might reply.
A Prayer: End with a formal prayer, such as the Lord's Prayer/Our Father
'I could see him in the sunlight,
Shadowed by uncertainty,
With disbelief upon his face,
Lifting his head as if to shake
Out of his mind the pain of doubt and dark despair,
And soothe the sadness of his soul.
I had no power to ease his heart,
No skill with words
To lift the veil of mystery,
And tell what had been done;
Naught could I do but suffer his suffering,
He in whom my future trembled;
But it was weariness
Which stilled his sorrow,
And in his sleep the dream began.'
Patrick Purnell SJ