I reflect on the Gospel of today and recognize there are many ways to respond to this – some of which come from my early Catholic education and socialization, some come from being now a woman in one’s younger older years, and, some come from a policy concern in the state of Nebraska, USA, as I type this reflection. For those of you reading this Gospel in all corners of the world, I wonder how you were educated and socialized to hear and understand this Gospel. How did your cultural history and values affect your hearing and understanding? Do you live in a society and culture that is dominantly non-Christian or Christian? Do you have a knowledge that at the time of Christ’s birth there were other religions in that time and place of the world that also valued the phenomenon of the importance of a virgin birth in their religious belief system? When you read this Gospel, do you focus on the compassion of Joseph, i.e., he would divorce her quietly? Or, do you think he was courageous to proceed with the marriage and risk community alienation? Or, do you think about the courage of Mary? Perhaps you think about your courage when asked to do something completely outside of your comfort zone? Do you reflect on how you listen to the Spirit of God in your life? Do you read this story as a lineage story to help us understand the lineage of Christ? There are many ways to question and reflect on this Gospel.
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