Today we venerate St. Joseph, the loyal, loving head of the Holy Family
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19, 2020): 2 SM 7:4-5,12-14,16; PS 89:2-3,4-5,27,29; ROM 4:13,16-18,22; MT 1:16,18-21,24
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This silent guardian loved and looked after Jesus and Mary.
Today we honor St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus. The Gospel for today shows him to be a faithful Jew as well as a just and merciful man. When he learns that his betrothed bride is pregnant, he knows that he cannot marry her because that would be violating religious laws. However, he refuses to publically shame Mary and, in fact, put her life at risk because she could be considered guilty of adultery. Instead, he decides to divorce her as unobtrusively as possible. Only when an angel reveals to Joseph in a dream God’s plan for Mary and her child does he understand that the Almighty has chosen Him for an extraordinary role. Born to the line of King David, Joseph is meant to be the legal father of the Messiah and the earthly protector of the Son of God. “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David My servant: Forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations” (Psalm 89:4-5).
Joseph was selected by the Eternal Father to care for His beloved Child and the holy, sinless woman who would give Him birth. So Joseph, the poor carpenter from whom we never hear one word in the Scriptures, bravely, humbly and wholeheartedly does all that God asks of him. The head of the Holy Family quietly and wisely guides them on their travels and provides for them on their return to Nazareth. This silent guardian loved and looked after Jesus and Mary and, now, as the Patron of the Universal Church, Joseph cares for us as well.