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Homily of Archbishop Leonardo D'Ascenzo

at the Church of Santa Maria Greca in Corato, on December 18, 2018

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Daily Readings (Jer 23:5-8, Ps 71, Mt 1:18-24)

« Before they lived together Mary was discovered to be pregnant »

This would mean for Mary a sentence of death by stoning.

Joseph shows a justice at a different level and it is precisely this model that Joseph proposes that becomes for us a reason for reflection, for comparison with our experience of life and therefore also of prayer. The justice of Joseph consists in entrusting oneself to the Will of God, to this Will which reveals itself to him in a particular context, during sleep, through a dream; It is a mysterious context, a context that wants to say about the Will of God that It is a reality that exceeds us, we do not always manage to understand it, It requires trust and confidence from us.

This is the sense of the  revelation that Joseph welcomes in this mysterious context of sleeping, through a dream, as I said before. There is a Will of God that wants to meet us; It is mysterious in the sense that it exceeds us, It requires willingness, openness of heart, trust and confidence in God.

And it is through this entrustment, this act of trust, that when Joseph wakes up, he welcomes Mary and Jesus. So it is precisely this particular element that we should feel as an element close to us in this time of Advent that is a waiting time, a time in which we should look and welcome the example of Mary who is the Woman of Advent, the Woman of Expectation.

Looking at her, inspired by her, welcoming her as a model, we can meet Jesus who comes, we can welcome Jesus. This is Advent, the meaning of Advent, going to meet Jesus who comes and is born for us in the flesh in Bethlehem

But Advent is also preparing to welcome Jesus who will come at the end of time, in glory. Moreover, let us not forget, Advent is a time that wants to teach us to welcome Jesus who comes every day: Jesus comes in daily life, in ordinariness, in the normality and simplicity of our life. So to recognize Jesus in the ordinary, to be able to welcome Him every day in our experiences, we have as a reference this evening Joseph, the right man.

Justice means accepting the Will of God and entrusting oneself to It; justice means to welcome Mary as our model of life. So, let's continue this Eucharistic celebration by recalling all the reasons that Don Sergio presented at the beginning of the Mass for our prayer and let us ask the Lord that He can help us to live this Advent season that is accompanying us to the forthcoming Solemnity of Christmas.

Let us ask the Lord through the intercession of Mary, through the intercession of Joseph to help us to recognize Jesus, to have a heart and a look capable of recognizing Jesus present to us every day; in all the things we live, the simplest situations, the most difficult and beautiful ones, Jesus is there! Let us ask God for a sensitive heart and a careful look to recognize and welcome Him, as our companion on the journey of our life.


Arcivescovo Mons.Leonardo D'Ascenzo
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