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Pope: Joseph teaches us what to do with thwarted dreams

Pope Nativity manger


Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 12/18/22

God is an "expert in transforming crises into dreams," the Pope says, calling on Mary that we might stay "open to God’s surprises."

Pope Francis on this Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 18, called on St. Joseph to suggest how we might deal with dreams that haven’t turned out as we hope.

Considering how God changed Joseph’s plans, and allowed him to go through fear and uncertainty, the Pope asked, “What does Joseph say to us today?”

We too have our dreams, and perhaps we think of them more, we talk about them together at Christmas. Perhaps we lament over some dreams that have been shattered and we see that our best expectations often need to be put together with unexpected, disconcerting situations. And when this happens, Joseph shows us the way.

“We do not need to give in to negative feelings, like anger or isolation – this is the wrong way,” the Pope said.

“Instead,” he invited, “we need to attentively welcome surprises, the surprises in life, even crises. When we find ourselves in crisis, we should not make decisions quickly or instinctively, but let them pass through the sieve, like Joseph did who “considered everything” (cf. v. 20), and base ourselves on the underlying certainty of God’s mercy.”

When someone experiences a crisis without giving in to isolation, anger, and fear, but keeps the door open for God, He can intervene. He is an expert in transforming crises into dreams – yes, God opens crises into new horizonswe never would have imagined before, perhaps not as we would expect, but in the way He knows how.

And these, brothers and sisters, are God’s horizons – surprising – but infinitely more grand and beautiful than ours! May the Virgin Mary help us live open to God’s surprises.

AdventPope FrancisSaint Joseph
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