Sunday, December 19, 2010

St Joseph - A man of few words

St. Joseph was an ordinary sort of man on whom God relied to do great things. He did exactly what the Lord wanted him to do, in each and every event that went to make up his life. - Blessed Josemaria Escriva:

Gospel text (Mt 1:18-24): This is how Jesus Christ was born. Mary his mother had been given to Joseph in marriage but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her.

While he was pondering over this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, «Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a son. You shall call him “Jesus” for he will save his people from their sins».

All this happened in order to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: «The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Emmanuel which means: ‘God-with-us’». When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do and he took his wife to his home.

Today, the liturgy of the Word invites us to consider and admire St. Joseph's figure, a truly good man. About Mary, God's Mother, it has been said that she was blessed among women (cf. Lk 1:42). About Joseph it has been written he was a just man (cf. Mt 1:19).

As persons made after God's image and semblance, we all owe our individual identity to God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth, with actual and radical freedom. And as a response to that freedom we can glorify God, as He deserves, or we can also make, out of ourselves, something quite unpleasant to God's eyes.

We have no doubt that Joseph, through his job and personal commitment to his familial and social surroundings, sort of won our Creator's “Heart”, by considering him a man to be trusted in the collaboration of human Redemption through his Son, made a man as we are.

Let us therefore learn from St. Joseph his allegiance —already proven from the very beginning— and his good behavior during the rest of his life —closely— correlated to Jesus and Mary.

We make him patron and mediator of all fathers, whether biological or not, that in our world must help their sons to provide a similar response to his. We make him patron of the Church, as an entity intimately linked to his Son, and we keep on hearing Mary's words when she finds that the Child Jesus was “lost” in the Temple: «Your father and I...» (Lk 2:48).

Therefore, with Mary, our Mother, we find Joseph as the father. St. Teresa of Avila wrote: «I took for my advocate and comforter the glorious Saint Joseph, and commended myself fervently to him (...). I do not remember at any time having asked him for anything which he did not grant».

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