SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH
READ: MT 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.
Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph. We are invited to reflect on two things today:
1. The Solemnity. You can think of solemnities as a mini Sundays, or like the national holiday's of the Church. The Church declares certain days "solemn" to highlight the importance of the person, or mystery of the faith, being celebrated. Today is all about St. Joseph and his love of Jesus. The word solemn essentially means "to take seriously". But solemn doesn't mean boring. The Church is calling us to celebrate St. Joseph, and to take that celebration seriously. We are called to rest on Sunday's and Solemnities, because rest frees us from our earthly responsibilities, giving us space, mentally, emotionally, and physically to worship and reflect on God and His goodness. Take some extra time today to celebrate (you don't have to do your lenten penance today), rest, and worship.
2. St. Joseph. St. Jospeh is held up by the Church as the greatest saint besides our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Yet, He is only mentioned a couple of times in the bible, and we don't even have record of anything he said. So how does the Church come to this conclusion? Today's gospel shows us. By taking Mary into his home without hesitation in response to the angels' revelation, Joesph reveals his character without saying a word. St. Joesph is not great because of any speeches he made, or famous like other biblical heroes, because he performed amazing miracles, or evangelized the world. He's great because he was faithful. Like David and Abraham before Him, he says yes to God's plan in faith, and remains faithful. His actions speak so loudly, we don't need to hear his voice.
His life is a testament to all of us who live a quiet life of discipleship. Like Him, our words will probably not end up being recorded. Our deeds will not be recounted by many. In the scheme of history, no one will know we ever existed. St. Joesph reminds us not to measure ourselves by such small standards. He shows us that true greatness is not found in our legacy, but in living every ordinary circumstance with Jesus and for Him. Today, let's ask God to fill our lives with His life. Let's, ask St. Joseph for a heart of faithfulness like his own.
Take a moment to reflect on Jesus' and Joseph's normal life in Nazareth. What does this say about our everyday life?
How can you celebrate St. Joesph today? What can you do with your family or friends to rest, and reflect on his faithfulness?
How is St. Joseph one of our "fathers in faith"?
How can we imitate St. Joesph more this Lent?
In the spirit of Solemnity, we encourage you to read all of the readings from Mass today.
RESPOND: PS 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 AND 29
R. The son of David will live for ever. The promises of the LORD I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness, For you have said, "My kindness is established forever"; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. "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." "He shall say of me, 'You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.' Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him, and my covenant with him stands firm." R. The son of David will live for ever.
How can we live faithfully today?