Because yesterday was a Sunday of Lent, the feast day of St. Joseph (March 19) gets transferred to today, March 20. He’s that important. There is a choice between 2 gospel readings today, and I chose to go with the story from Matthew. It’s the story of Joseph, who is betrothed to Mary, finding out that she is pregnant. He wants to quietly divorce her and not cause any scandal for either of them. But an angel of the Lord visits him in a dream and instructs him to take Mary into his home and to name his child Jesus, “...because he will save his people from their sins.”
A scandal is a “shameful action or event.” Yet, at its root, scandal means “to leap, climb, or jump.” Joseph, who sees this whole situation as scandalous is told to take a leap from his current way of seeing to a different path. He is to see it as Spirit driven. He was trying to devise a way of letting this whole thing go “quietly into the night.” God had other plans. What we humans view as scandalous, God sees as driven by the Holy Spirit. Joseph had to make the jump from scandal to Spirit.
In yesterday’s reading with the Samaritan woman at the well, it was scandalous for Jesus to be talking to her, a woman, and a Samaritan. Yet, it was through the scandal that Spirit entered in, she started to see Jesus and herself with new eyes, and new life was given. Her life was changed from scandal to Spirit.
Now, I am not condoning scandalous behavior. What I am saying here is that sometimes we need to look at a situation from a different angle, maybe from the Spirit angle. We need some new eyes to reveal to us what is really going on in our situation. And maybe, just maybe, we are being called to scandalize - to jump or leap into a new way of seeing and understanding! To ask the Source of our being what we need to see and how it is to be seen. Because, maybe a deeper divine plan is at work in and through us, a plan that is calling you and me to move with the Spirit that is creating new life in us!
I wonder if when we find ourselves in iffy situations, or situations that seem dark and despairing, might we look to the Light for some direction. I wonder if in these moments, God reveals his dream for us!