Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
“He shall have pity on the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save.” Psalm 72:13
Joseph, arise! Guide me this Advent in the journey to Christmas. The King of the Universe became poor for our sake, and He became Incarnate in your poor, humble family. He dwelt under your roof and was obedient to you, Joseph. How can I ever thank you for saving Mary from stoning, taking her in, for fleeing with the Christ Child to Egypt to escape Herod’s murderous envy, working in Egypt as a lowly immigrant, and returning to Nazareth where you lived a hidden life of quiet labor in the presence of God and the Blessed Mother. Blessed Joseph, who died in their presence, obtain for me and my dear ones this blessing of a happy death.
St. Joseph, help me to encounter Jesus deeply this Advent, so I can celebrate His coming as a vulnerable child. Help me welcome His coming in Holy Mass, where He comes in Sacred Scripture and Eucharist, under the humble disguise of bread and wine. May I run to Him in the merciful healing of Confession. Help me to welcome His coming in each neighbor, especially the poor, sick and abandoned. Help me seek His presence in each day He gives me. Prepare me for His coming at the end of my earthly life and when He comes again in visible glory.
Teach me to receive Jesus with joyous welcome when He comes. Despite my sins, I happily receive Him, for I trust in His merits and not my own. St. Joseph, teach me to hold the Child Jesus, to let Him embrace me with delight, though I am not worthy to have Him under my roof. Eradicate my superficial spirituality, and ask Jesus to possess all the rooms of my inner and outer life. This God, through whom all things were made, is no distant creator. Jesus wants intimacy. He wants me to live and move and have my being in Him. He desires to radiate through me like host in monstrance, a beautiful symbiosis like no other. But this is not biologic life. This is divine life, filled with the fullness of God. The Word of God became flesh to make us partakers of the divine nature.
St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Saint Louis University. Pray for our community to be a place to encounter Christ and be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Terror of demons, pray for our purity. Help us be sanctified by our prayers, studies and daily work. Help each person develop the gifts God granted, happy to serve with charity in truth. Above all, pray for us all to receive the joy of knowing, loving and being loved by your adopted son, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father.
-Elizabeth Abraham MD, OCDS
Dr. Abraham is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at SLU School of Medicine and practices pediatric nephrology at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. She is a member of the Secular Discalced Carmelites of St. Louis, Missouri, under the patronage of St. Joseph.