18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.
Verses 19 to 20 could be translated in this way: “Joseph was the Mary’s bridegroom and he was a righteous man. He didn’t want to expose Mary to people’s malice, so he decided to put her away privily. While he thought these things … “. These greek verbs describe a person who is thinking a lot about his situation. The “righteous” Joseph is worried about Mary because he fears that she could be exposed to the people’s naughtiness. In fact, if Joseph had followed the Law, he should have exposed Mary to the public mockery. So he decided to put her away privily.
Joseph was thinking a lot about his life because he found that Mary was pregnant! Joseph was a righteous man, but he had to decide to continue to live, protecting the Mary’s dignity . But what could he do? After to have thought about possible solutions, he choose the so called “lesser evil”: to put her away privily.
If you have been experiencing a situation like that of Joseph, you need to understand your life from a different point of view. You have to look your life with the poet’s eyes. But Joseph is not a poet! Matthew says that Joseph is a righteous man, one who observed the Moses’ Law. But if you follow the law (e.g. moral laws) you are forced to do something that doesn’t match what’s in your heart. Sometimes even worst our actions are inspired by people’s consent and approval. Probably Joseph too wondered: What the people would say if I lived with Mary? My normal life will be destroyed! (to be continued) (From: Simone Venturini, Il vangelo del bambino interiore, Città Nuova, 2008, pp. 18-19)