Let us focus on Joseph’s “yes.” His is unique in its place—it required Mary’s “yes,” but it also supported hers. This path, between the two, reminds me of what our best relationships require and can create. When we are brave enough to comingle, our response to the movements in our life intimately affect the people that we love. This means that we need to back each other up, but also that we help each other see what is possible. When Joseph said “yes,” he accepted the promise that Mary saw and affirmed that he would pursue it with her. He took part in God’s hope for his life but also relied on the faith of Mary’s hope.
On whom do you rely to see what is possible? Whose “yes” impacts your own?
The people we love the most are often the ones we push away with the same intensity. Of course, we don’t do this on purpose. We feel comfortable in these relationships and therefore when life demands more of us, we sometimes give less to those who are close.
Name three or four of these close people in your life. Like how Joseph affirmed Mary, where could these people use more of your support? Who in your life needs to know that you are with them 100%? Also, what does the need that they have create for you in your life?
Joseph’s “yes” reminds us to partner with one another. When he agrees to continue with their marriage, he acts not only with trust in God, but also in Mary. Today, look for ways that you can partner with your loved ones. Look for ways you can trust them and act upon that trust. How does working in tandem affect your relationship with that person? How does it affect your understanding of God?
Prayer is the practice of attending to that which is true. When we pray, whatever method we use, we notice our needs, our desires, and our relationships. Only by noticing what is within are we able to connect with what is beyond ourselves. As such, prayer is our participation in the deepening of the sacred.
Joseph taught us this when he said, “yes.”
I invite you to finish this prayer:
Partner God, Trusting Responder, Always Supporter, Help me to be this to my loved ones. They inspire me. They need my support. They lead me to you. I am grateful for these people… (write or say their names as you hold them in prayer.) Amen.
Catherine Wiecher Brunell is a pastoral minister of the everyday. Her life's work is about finding meaning in ordinary things by teaching and practicing faith. She has a master's degree in pastoral ministry from Boston College. She lives in Natick, Massachusetts, with her four children and husband.