“Baby Announcement” by Karen Theckston, Fiat Ventures

Flickr User Jeff Weese

Fourth Sunday of Advent

On October 1st, the Feast Day of St. Therese of Lisieux, my husband and I found out we were expecting our second baby. From the moment I showed him the positive pregnancy test, my husband was overjoyed and already rattling off all the things we need to get done to prepare for the little one, possible names and all the fun things we’ll do as a family of four. I, however, was slightly overwhelmed at first. How will I handle talking care of two babies under two? Will the baby be healthy? Will the morning sickness will be as bad as with the first baby (Spoiler alert, it’s been worse)? Lord, I can’t do this.

That night, I went to a Holy Hour at the local Carmelite Convent that has holding a special prayer service for the intercessions of St. Therese. The tiny chapel was packed so I ended up sitting in the hallway and didn’t get a glimpse of Jesus in the Monstrance all night. But God did make his presence known to me. Not by sending an angel to calm my anxieties about the new baby, but by reminding me to trust in Him always.

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, we have a rare encounter with one of the best known biblical characters, although he doesn’t even have any recorded words in the Bible! We hear of the announcement of Jesus’ conception from St. Joseph’s perspective. Joseph was engaged to young Mary when he found out she was pregnant. Can you imagine the anxieties HE was feeling?! He decided to secretly divorce her. However, right before he did, he had his own encounter with God. Joseph was visited by an angel in a dream and was ensured that the baby was conceived through the Holy Spirit and that he should marry Mary and take her into his home. Further, he was told that “She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Now that’s a baby announcement! Joseph was a faithful man, did as the angel told him and the Christmas story continues as we know it.

Because of their unwavering trust and YES to the Lord, the Holy Family are the patron saints of marriage and family life, and saints I turn to for intercessions on a daily basis. This reading also took me back to my initial reaction when finding out about our new little blessing – Lord I can’t do this. But what I’m constantly reminded of is that I am not asked to do this ALONE, but with the help and support of a loving family and the intercession of many saints in heaven.

For someone who’s 14 weeks pregnant reading this encounter of Joseph and the angel, I can’t help to think – wow it’d be nice to be told in a dream whether the baby is a boy or girl, what to name him or her, and the great things the baby will do as it grows up! But I guess we’ll just have to wait, be patient, and trust.

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