Sunday, March 18, 2018

St. Joseph, Spouse of BVM, Monday, 19-03-18

2 Sam 7:4-5, 12-14, 16 / Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22 / Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24 or Luke 2:41-51

St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice.

The Church calendar dedicates two feast-days for St. Joseph. On May 1 we honor him as the patron of workers throughout the world. Today we honour him under the great title of Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

That title expresses his important mission in God's plan of salvation, which was "to legally insert Jesus Christ into the line of David from whom, according to the prophets, the Messiah would be born, and to act as his father and guardian"(Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy).

But with that great title came along great challenges. The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy. But precisely in this time of trial St. Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of redemption, was not without God's help. St. Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After that, nothing more is said about him.

From all this, one aspect of St. Joseph stands out profoundly, and that is his obedience to God's will.

He had dreams in which an angel told him what to do and he obeyed, although he may not quite understand God's plan fully.

His obedience enabled him to walk on and care for Mary and Jesus in the darkness of difficulties. His obedience also gave him hope to endure and persevere in silence. It is often noted that St. Joseph is never quoted in the Bible.

On this feast of St. Joseph, the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we give thanks to God for the model of obedience in St. Joseph.  Let us ask St. Joseph to pray for us that we too obey God like he did.