(Adults, you could begin by lighting a candle before reading the reflection to your child. The quotations you could read directly from the Holy Bible so that your child sees that this is the Word of God.)
This Sunday, we light the fourth candle on the Advent wreath. The feast of Christmas is so near, the feast of Jesus the Light coming into the world. We know that Mary is Jesus' mother, and her husband's name is Joseph. On this Sunday, we hear how Joseph finds out—even before he marries Mary—that Jesus will soon be born.
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
"Found to be with child" means that a tiny baby begins to grow inside of Mary. We know who this baby is! But Joseph does not know. This confuses Joseph. He and Mary are not yet married. How can she be having a baby?
That night, while Joseph sleeps,
an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
"Do not be afraid," the angel says. What can this mean? What is God doing here?
First, God wants Joseph to know who the baby is from. The baby inside Mary is from the Holy Spirit. At Christmas when we open gifts, we often say, "Who is this from?" We can see that the baby is a gift—a gift from God. Joseph and Mary did not ask for this child. In God's great goodness, God chooses to give Jesus to them. That is a true gift. Abundance.
Is Jesus a gift only for Mary and Joseph?
Does God give Jesus to anyone else?
What else is God doing?
The Holy Spirit is bringing life. A surprise! The Holy Spirit brings life that should have been impossible—life that is holy because God is there. We know that this baby—Jesus—is holy.
Does the Holy Spirit bring life today? Life that should be impossible? Life that is holy?
When we are baptized, the water filled with the Holy Spirit pours over our heads. We are promised a share in the Risen Life of Jesus.
This is the life that never ends.
It is life that should be impossible.
It is life that is holy because God is with us.