“On this fourth Sunday of Advent, we are filled with joy because the Lord is at hand. We heard in today’s Gospel about the promise made to Joseph, that his wife Mary was to bear a child who would save his people from their sins. This child would be called Emmanuel, meaning that from now on, God is truly with us, he lives among us and shares our joys and sorrows, our hopes and our fears,” he said in his English remarks.
The Holy Father said Saint Joseph is presented as a “righteous man” in the gospel passage, faithful to God’s law, and ready to do his will. For this reason, he becomes a party to the Mystery of the Incarnation, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
He called on the Church to venerate Jesus’ lawful father, because in him we see new man, who looked to the future with confidence and courage, who disregarded his own goals, but entrusted himself completely to the infinite mercy of the One who fulfils prophecies and opens time to salvation.
Pope Benedict concluded his address by entrusting all pastors to Saint Joseph, universal patron of the Church, urging them to quietly present Christ’s words and actions each day to the faithful and to the whole world. (*)