The unpredictable introduces amazing things into the fabric of an upright man’s daily existence. God, the Absolutely Unpredictable One, chooses the scandal of dwelling in a virgin and of disrupting Joseph’s sleep with divine visitations. Why he decides to enter the lives of the upright in startling ways remains a mystery.
He bursts unpredictably into the story of Mary and Joseph: before they live together as husband and wife, Mary finds herself expecting a child. The Gospel says that Joseph is an upright man: he is the model of a new, evangelical uprightness. He has a broad and courageous grasp of the virtue that Jesus will embody to the full with unspeakable courage and infinite consistency. There is no true uprightness without love. In fact, only one who loves can be called upright.
The angel’s reassuring words, “do not be afraid,” are addressed not only to Joseph but also to us. Joseph takes Mary into his care and establishes a family circle with her. And we are asked to do the same. To take care of a person is an act of inclusion, of acceptance. It is God’s recommendation to us as to how we should live. Along with Joseph, we are invited to make room for Jesus within the coordinates of space and time, to bring him into the heart of our family, of our story…. The unpredictable “dance” of God is characterized by his request to enter the fabric of human history and human stories. Do we, with and like Joseph, dare to say yes to an unpredictable God who asks to be part of our lives?