4th Sunday of Advent Year A - 22/12/2013 - Gospel: Mt 1: 18-24
A rejected child
It is hard when you grow up and discover that before you were born your parents didn't want to have you. They may have had good reasons to do so but nothing justifies the reality of not being wanted before birth. You were a tiny foetus growing to be a person, innocent and had made no mistake and yet you had already become a victim of the human society, customs and traditions that create fear and humiliation of those who want to welcome a child born out of wedlock. Jesus, the unwanted child grew up and bore no grudges and bitter feelings and only showed true love and forgiveness that we happily celebrate his birthday annually known as Christmas. 
The biblical narrative reports that Joseph was a just and honoured man he wanted to save Mary from the public condemnation. He decided to divorce her informally (Mat1, 19). Joseph was frightened of his own safety and of Mary and the unborn baby in her. Mary reacted strongly and was horrified when she heard of the news that she was going to bear a baby boy. The angel has prepared Mary's heart before announcing the news by saying,

"rejoice, so highly favoured because the Lord is with you" Lk 1,29.

These words had encouraged Mary to welcome the news with some preservation but with more clarification. She asked the angel,

'How can this come about, since I am a virgin' Lk 1,34.

The rejection to the good news that the Saviour was born into the world happened two thousand years ago and it constantly repeats itself throughout the history of salvation. People were looking for a Saviour but when the Saviour was born they rejected him. People were searching for light but when the true light shines they prefer darkness. People were thirsting for love but when God offered genuine love they chose worldly love. People were looking for life and when God offers eternal life they preferred to crucify him.
God came to the world in an ordinary way, in the same manner as other human beings were born. There was no trumpets or mighty power prior to the birth but it was a simply birth as an ordinary person. He was born amongst the homeless, in the open air and that made many refuse to believe the Saviour was born to the world. God is love and true love reflects through gentleness, quietness and humility and that is how God came into the world and his death on the cross also reflects these qualities. Violence and chaos took place on the Calvary hill but they came from the leaders of the community, from the soldiers and from the crowds, not from God.
God's intervention has changed the minds of both Mary and Joseph. Joseph took Mary home and took good care of her while Mary responded to the angel that,

"I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me" Lk 1,38.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year and pray God's grace will make you welcome Jesus to dwell in your hearts.