(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love - Used With Permission)
" "In the first place it should be known that if a person is seeking God, his beloved is seeking him much more." — St. John of the Cross

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

On This Feast Day of St. Joseph

My Dad was a Joseph. My deceased brother was a Joseph. My Confirmation name is Joseph. My only son is a Joseph. And as a Lay Dominican, I am a member of the St. Joseph Province of the Order of Preachers.

 Guess it is incumbent upon me then to share something about St. Joseph today.

 Let me start with the wisdom offered by our beloved Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, during an Address he gave on December 19, 2005:


“Let us allow ourselves to be ‘infected’ by St. Joseph’s silence.  We need it greatly, in a world that is often too noisy, that does not favor meditation or listening to the voice of God.”


What follows are three Scriptural passages involving St. Joseph.  Three times an angel told him what God was asking of him. Each time Joseph accepted what he was told. Is there a lesson there for us? Why not take some time before the end of this day to read, reflect and meditate on these passages? Hopefully that exercise will make this a special feast day for you.


“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.  But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel’ (which means, God with us).  When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus.” – Matthew 1:18-25(RSV)


“Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt have I called my son’." – Matthew 2:13-15(RSV)


"But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 'Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead.' And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, 'He shall be called a Nazarene'." – Matthew 2:19-23(RSV)


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