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Joseph's dream 3.jpg The story of our Lord Jesus begins with significant dreams. The Gospel of Luke describes the visitation the Blessed Virgin received from the angel Gabriel, while the Gospel of Matthew clearly says that her fiance, Joseph, received the same information through a dream. Scholars suspect that these are not accidental similarities between the Joseph, carpenter of Nazareth who received dreams and the Joseph of Egypt who received and interpreted dreams. As if to emphasize these parallels, after the Christ Child is born in Bethlehem, Joseph of Nazareth receives another life-altering dream and, like the patriarch before him, also journeys into Egypt for safety and refuge.



Magi worship.jpg
Yet another dream associated with the Christmas story came to the Magi, the "Three Wise Men" who came, according to the Gospel of Matthew, from the "east" to worship and acknowledge the newborn King.  Their story begins with their recognition of a new star; the Magi appear to have been astrologers, which is an oddly pagan element in an otherwise very Jewish story. But after their visit with the Holy Family, the Magi are warned not to return to Herod by a dream. We do not know whether only one or all of the Magi received the same dream, whether it involved angels, astrological signs or any other specific message. We only know that these Wise Men took that dream very seriously and risked Herod's anger by returning "to their own country by another way."




Pilate's judgement.jpg At the very end of Jesus' earthly ministry, another significant dream is recorded. This dream comes from an unexpected source: the wife of the foreign governor who would sentence Our Lord to death. As so often the case with women in the Bible, we know very little about this woman, not even her name. But she had an important dream and she took it very seriously.

In her dream, this Roman woman somehow knew that her husband would confront a man who, in various translations, was just, righteous or innocent. In her message, she tells her husband to have nothing to do with this man because she "suffered much" because of her dream.

Imagine if, in our own modern time, the wife of a Supreme Court Justice were to interrupt a judicial proceeding, telling the judge to stop the trial because the accused criminal was innocent! Yet that is precisely what happened in this scenario. Pilate himself seems to have taken his wife's warning seriously, because he tries every possible means to avoid pronouncing that terrible death sentence.