“Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God.” Saint John Paul II (from the Catholic News Agency)
St. Joseph understands the pain of shattered dreams, but he also shows us a path to follow in such situations.
St. Joseph is an integral part of the story of Advent, but let’s not be too facile about his calling to be the foster-father of Jesus Christ. Joseph’s obedience to the Angel’s message, his embrace of the truth of it, and his prompt action were extremely courageous elements of his role in the events that changed the course of history. Joseph the Fearless I call him, a well-deserved title in the face of the obstacles that he had to overcome in order to be the Messiah’s Guardian. All men have to ask themselves if they would have been up to the job, as Joseph was.
“I would like to tell you something very personal. I like St Joseph very much. He is a strong man of silence. On my desk I have a statue of St Joseph sleeping. While sleeping he looks after the Church. Yes, he can do it! We know that. When I have a problem or a difficulty, I write it on a piece of paper and I put it under his statue so he can dream about it. This means please pray to St Joseph for this problem.” Pope Francis
At first sight there seems to be no material for a meditation on Joseph, for what do we know of him, apart from his name and a few events that occurred in Our Lord’s childhood? The Gospel does not record a single word from him; his language is silence. It was his attention to the angelic voices which spoke in his sleep; it was that prompt and generous obedience which was demanded from him; it was manual labor, in the most modest and fatiguing of forms, which earned Jesus the reputation of being “the son of the carpenter” (Mt. 13:55). There is nothing else known of him, and it might well be said that he lived an unknown life, the life of a simple artisan, with no sign of personal greatness. Pope Paul VI Homily on St. Joseph March 27, 1969
“Behold the faithful and prudent servant which the Lord has set over his household.
We are about to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany the day on which the three kings came to worship Our Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ. They came bearing three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These three gifts signify the virtues of faith, prayer and sacrifice.
Let us reflect that Joseph and Mary lived these three virtues in their lives. That of faith, believing the angel who told them to “have no fear”. That of prayer, for it is believed that Mary was at prayer when the angel appeared to her and Joseph was visited by an angel in his dream. That of sacrifice when they were asked to trust that the will of God for the coming of the Savior would be fulfilled through their obedience to all of God’s plans.
O Lord, as you worked in the lives of Mary and Joseph, let me be drawn to your love that you may work in me for the fulfillment of your plans.
May all peoples find in you through your Son, Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life, salvation and peace for their lives. Amen
St. Joseph, pure spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we humbly ask you to obtain for us a true devotion to our tender Mother, Teacher and Queen. By divine will, your mission was associated to Mary’s. With Mary you shared sufferings and joys; with her there was a holy rivalry in virtue, work and merits; union of mind and of heart. St. Joseph, pray for fathers and mothers. Obtain for us the grace to be devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to imitate her, to love her, to pray to her always. Draw many souls to her motherly heart. Amen
“Dear families, always live in faith and simplicity, like the Holy Family of Nazareth! The joy and peace of the Lord be always with you!” Pope Francis