The Gospel according to Matthew (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.
Opening Prayer: Lord, you had a loving earthly father who taught and cared for you. Open my heart to learn from him as I reflect on Joseph’s life.
Encountering Christ: The story of how Joseph fulfilled his role in the mission of Jesus is very well known. We all know about how Joseph received the message from the angel in his dream and thus he fulfilled his mission in the redemptive process with Mary and Jesus.
If we look at the time of Joseph and go deeper into the culture around Joseph and Mary at the time, I think we would all agree that it took great courage AND faith to continue forward not knowing how and why all this was happening.
Have you ever experienced that moment when you know that a decision needs to be made on something BUT you just are not sure if it’s the right decision? If you answered yes, you are not alone. Joseph found himself in a similar situation. Think about it…. Joseph was going to be the earthly father to the Son of God! No pressure right??? If that were me, I most likely would have woken up thinking I had some bad food at dinner that was making me hallucinate! BUT No! Joseph trusted in the message delivered by the angel and he acted on it. That’s the key here; he acted on it!
If you refer to the picture at the end of today’s reflection you can pick out many words that Joseph adopted and lived by in his life’s journey. Words like resolute, brave, and positive – and the list goes on.
We are closing in on the Easter Triduum and Easter itself. We have hopefully spent our Lenten journey time finding the deeper meaning of our lives with respect to God and have also spent time refining our inner selves preparing to be better witnesses and servants of Jesus and His Father. Hopefully we have done a lot of listening to God rather than speaking to Him.
Joseph remains an amazing model of discipleship for us, and his total submission and dedication to God and Mary is a living testimony that by trusting in God we can bring about a profound change, conversion and redemption to our own lives and to those around us – IF WE TRUST GOD and we listen to God while we are in prayer.
We can celebrate Joseph best by emulating his lifestyle. He is a key figure in scripture that little is talked about. His message for us could easily be – to be an inconspicuous figure in the world that brings about change and God’s values with little fanfare.
We are called to be a deep people of faith that trust in God to lead us where we need to go. God is the autonomous driver of our lives. Live your life not in fear BUT in service! Live life large with conviction and faith. You will find freedom in being God’s servant!
Closing Prayer: Lord, today by your grace I will muster the courage to take up a task that I know needs to be done but I have struggled to undertake.
Action for the Day: Sit and think of three things that you could do for God. Think of things that seem too difficult for you to tackle. Now stop and pray for God’s guidance and resolve. After that, see which of the three God is asking you to do AND DO IT!
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ST. Joseph, great leader of the Divine Family!
Living under the Roman occupation of Judaea, he took care of all the problems facing the threat to the life of Jesus, King of Israel!
Mission accomplished, God raised him up after 30 years of great care of the Divine Family. I am sure that when Jesus opened the Gates of Heaven after His Passion, Death and Resurrection, Joseph entered with great honors. Great honor to ST. Joseph! ST. Joseph, pray for us!