Fourth Sunday of Advent- Year A
There were severe laws against pre-marital sex and adultery in Biblical times. If a man discovered that his fiancee was pregnant by another man, he had right to denounce his wife. She could be sentenced to death by stoning. The husband-to-be would cast first rock. Joseph discover's Mary's pregnancy and is shamed. He is a righteous man--a strict observer of Jewish Law. He is also a compassionate person and decides to arrange a no-fault separation, without admitting or denying paternity of child. This will save Mary's life. God intervenes to state that there is no human father for Jesus. Joseph's faith leads him to accept.
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