Monday, March 19, 2012

The Solemnity of St. Joseph - “It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey.”

”He that is truly obedient does not wait for a command, but as soon as he knows what his superior wishes to have done immediately sets himself to work, without expecting an order.”-Saint Albert Doctor of the Church

Gospel text (Mt 1,16.18-21.24a):
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
"Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins."
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

Our modern culture enjoys reading about the personal struggles, emotions, doubts, and triumphs in people's lives. It's as if our culture gives people the right to make ungodly choices if their struggles are intense enough. The Scriptures differ from modern culture. They didn't concentrate on St. Joseph's feelings or his struggles. They simply concentrate on what Joseph did. They reflect Joseph as a man of "obedient faith" (Rm 1:5). Because of his great example, Holy Mother Church has recognized the holiness and trustworthiness of St. Joseph over the years (see Ps 89:29). Blessed Pope Pius IX named St. Joseph as patron saint of the universal church.

St. Joseph was one of the greatest men of faith in history because he heard and believed God. Because Joseph had great spiritual hearing, he was a great man of faith. We too can choose to hear God. We can develop this capacity given to us at our Baptisms. We do this by repenting, giving our lives to the Lord (see Jn 8:47; 18:37), hearing God's word daily, being quiet daily, developing a strong prayer life, receiving the sacraments frequently (Eucharist and Confession), and simplifying our lifestyles. Jesus said: "Let him who has ears to hear Me, hear!" (Mk 4:9)

We need St. Joseph more than ever, for, if we had his virtues, we would start a quiet revolution which would prepare the world for Christ's final coming. St. Joseph, pray for us.

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