Like Mary, Joseph obeyed God
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19, 2021): 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
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Joseph’s doubts and fears were answered by the angel of the Lord who came to him in a dream...
On this feast of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we venerate the man chosen by Almighty God to be the earthly father of His Son. In the Gospel reading today we are told that Mary and Joseph are betrothed. But before they actually live together, Joseph learns that Mary is carrying a Child. Mary has not told him the story of the Incarnation of our Lord or how the angel Gabriel came to announce to her God’s plan for her – and the world. She leaves this in the hands of our Eternal Father, just as she does her entire life. The good and just Joseph must have been hurt and overwhelmed, yet still planned to provide for her safety to the best of his ability. Joseph’s doubts and fears were answered by the angel of the Lord who came to him in a dream to assure him that this was all part of God’s divine plan. “‘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.’… When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him’” (Matthew 1:20, 24). Like Mary, Joseph obeyed God and spent the rest of his days tending to the well being of his wife Mary and her Son Jesus – the Son of God and Savior of the world.
Pope Francis has had a life-long devotion to the head of the Holy Family. And he has now proclaimed “The Year of St. Joseph,” recognizing the 150th anniversary of the head of the Holy Family being declared Patron of the Universal Church. The Pope also released a most thoughtful Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart), that concludes with this lovely prayer: “Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to you God entrusted His only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man. Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage, and defend us from every evil. Amen.”
Suggested missionary action: During this Year of St. Joseph we can show our reverence by praying to him each day and asking his intercession for our own family as well as for the whole Church.
Give with heart this Lent. Put resources in the hands of missionaries in the Pope’s missions who are serving the poor and battling COVID-19.