Years ago a submarine was rammed by another ship and quickly it sank to the bottom of the ocean. The entire crew was trapped inside that submarine. Many boats rushed to the disaster, but no one really knew what the submarine crew went through in those few hours underneath the water. Men bravely clung to all the oxygen that they could get until the oxygen slowly gave out. One diver who came to the rescue, swam down and put his ear to the side of the submarine and listened. The diver heard tapping noises - someone was banging out a message in Morse code. The message was a question: 'Is there any hope?' That question, is the cry of all humanity. Is there any hope?
As the submariner cried in the middle of water, we all may cry like him for hope in the middle of struggles of life, sickness, difficulties, failures and tears. For instance, When a patient goes through sickness, he cries to the doctor, "Is there any hope for life?" When a student gets low grades unfortunately, he cries to his teacher, "Is there any hope for me?" When a husband goes through addiction, his wife cries, "Is there any for hope for his recovery?" When our loved ones are at the point of death, we cry to the doctor, "Is there any hope for their life?'' There is no exceptions...................... we all cry for hope at one point of time in our life. Like all of us, there are many people cried for hope in the Bible and today's liturgy of the word brings to light two people who cried for hope. They are none other than Ahaz and Joseph.
In today's first reading, we see Ahaz, the king of Judah looking for hope in a hopeless situation. During his reign over the kingdom of Judah, he was threatened by his neighboring kings of Syria and Israel. The kings of Syria and Israel threatened him that that they are going to kill him and they are going to make someone as the king of Judah if he joins hands with the king of Assyria. They promised him that they will kill him and the dynasty of David will come to an end.
In today's gospel, we see St. Joseph being hopeless. In other words, he seems to me as being confused as Ahaz in today's first reading. He is thinking about divorcing Mary without knowing that Mary is conceived by the Holy Spirit. He seems to be confused about the pregnancy of our Lady. He is afraid to accept Mary as his wife since she conceived before he lived her.
When Ahaz was hopeless, God intervened in his life though he was an awful king. God entered into his life because He did not like Ahaz to be killed and he did not like Ahaz to have alliance with the Assyrians since the Assyrians were sinful people. Since God did not want him to have alliance with the sinful Assyrians and did not want anyone to come to the throne of Judah other than the descendants of David, he enters into the life of Ahaz and gives him a miraculous sign of hope and life. That sign is none other than Emmanuel. When Joseph was planning to divorce Mary, God entered into the life of Joseph through his angel. He convinced the confused Joseph to accept Mary as his wife and to be the foster father to Jesus.
My dear people of God,
God intervenes in our life too as he intervened in the life of Ahaz and Joseph
At our lowest, God is our hope ... At our weakest, God is our strength... At our saddest...God is our Emmanuel
God is with us.