Thursday, March 19, 2015

St. Joseph was an ordinary man on whom God relied to do great things

Some Saints are privileged to extend to us their patronage with particular efficacy in certain needs, but not in others; but our holy patron St. Joseph has the power to assist us in all cases, in every necessity, in every undertaking. - St. Thomas Aquinas

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

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». 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’s Gospel reading shows us how grace builds on our nature. It takes our good qualities and fills them with God’s goodness. It was grace that moved Mary to say yes to the angel’s invitation to become the Mother of God. It was grace that moved Joseph to embrace his vocation as the guardian of Israel’s Messiah. It’s the same grace that empowers us to accept God’s calling and wisdom for our lives.

Our human reason is a precious gift from God, but it was never meant to function independent of God. Our heavenly Father wants to teach us how to use his logic, the logic of divine love, as the foundation for all our thoughts, decisions, and actions. But for this to happen, we have to become sensitive to his grace.

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