One thing I’ve noticed is how much I feel called to imitate Mary. In this Advent season, Mary plays a particularly prominent role. I’m currently praying the Immaculate Conception novena in anticipation of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the official start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. But I can’t talk about Mary without also talking about her most chaste spouse, Joseph. As part of Advent, some of my friends and I are doing meditations on Joseph and Mary. St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother were there for me during a retreat I staffed last spring and I love imagining the relationship that they had with each other.
My friend Cari shared this particular meditation with me from Catholic Tradition:
Our Lady, in giving him her hand, gave him also her whole heart. Never did a wife love her husband so tenderly, so ardently, nor revere him more profoundly. Mary and Joseph, says St. Bernardin of Siena, were but one heart and soul; they were two in one same mind, one same affection, and each of them was the other’s second self, because Our Lady and he were, so to speak, only one person. The heart of Mary with that of Joseph, and the heart of Joseph with that of Mary, who ever could imagine a union so intimate, a grace so great!
Can you imagine what they were thinking as they were journeying from Nazareth to Bethlehem? Mary is heavy with child and in spite what a certain song asks, she did know her part in the narrative, but it’s still overwhelming to her. Joseph is equally overwhelmed because he will have to raise a child that isn’t actually his own and sharing his life with a woman who’s never sinned. It takes a man of great humility to accept this great responsibility.
For today, I want you to reflect on Mary’s Magnificat and this wonderful song from MercyMe. Contemplate what Mary and Joseph may be thinking as they journey with us this Advent.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.