The good manners of St Joseph (Advent3 Tue)

The beauty of how things happened at Christmas has so much to teach us in a society where so many ugly things are happening in such an ugly way.  Joseph in today’s Gospel is a good example. When he finds out Mary has apparently stuffed up, and is pregnant before the marriage, he doesn’t go on Facebook or Twitter bagging her out.  He doesn’t publicly humiliate her. On the contrary he shows the highest good manners and consideration: being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally.  In other words, he acted like a model man, with great charity and justice – even though he thought he had excellent reasons to be angry.  It was just as well: because he was wrong. Mary’s child was not due to a stuff up, but the plan of God. So let us ask for that grace today: that contrary to our culture, we react to injustices first of all in the way Jesus asks us: to not broadcast it immediately to the world, but, with due care of our brother’s reputation, to first go to our brother and with great charity and patience, find out the problem and then correct him if necessary.  Amen.