2Sam 7:4-5, 12-14, 16; Rom 14:13, 16-18, 22; Matt 1:16, 18-21, 24 ( Luke 2:41-51)
Today we are celebrating the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the Husband of Mary and the patron of the universal Church. The Bible did not give us detailed information about St. Joseph compared with other Biblical saints. The Bible just told us that he was a carpenter by profession and was living in Nazareth at the time he was betrothed to Mary. Like for example today’s gospel, we read today gives us a little information about St, Joseph the earthly Guardian of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus. The gospel just tells us the he was a righteous man (Matt 1:19) because he did expose Mary to shame.
Just imagine what would have happened if Saint Joseph did not cooperate with the plan of God. Like for example, if he pursued his plan to quietly divorce the Blessed Mother; if he did not listen to the angel of the Lord who spoke to him in his dream.
But in his humility and docility Joseph listened to God, thus he discontinued his plan to quietly divorce Mary. He instead brought her home to shield her from any public scandal. Such is Joseph a Godly man, a man who valued the voice of God dearly. He was righteous man not because he wanted to put Mary away in secret, but because of his humility and obedience to accept God’s will.
The veneration of St. Joseph was introduced rather late in the Catholic Church. His principal feast day is March 19. It is because tradition says that he died on March 19, some time before the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He is considered the model of a pious believer who receives grace at the moment of death. He is also known as the Protector of Virginity, for respecting Mary’s divine motherhood all his life. He was proclaimed the patron of Universal Church by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1870.
Msgr. Ruperto C. Santos STL in his homily book said that on this solemnity of St. Joseph, we are taught two lessons in life and I quote word for word:
First is to be like Joseph who worked in silence and with sincerity for God. Let us work without any publicity and pictorials. Let us accept and fulfil our responsibilities to God without aspiring for awards and rewards; without thinking of ay commissions and commendations. Let us do things not for our own benefit but for the benefit of others. Let us be like Joseph who made decisions in the light of God’s plan and not for personal advantage.
Second is let us be like Joseph who was prudent in his ways and actions. And so let us be prudent in our judgment and actions so that we may not be able to destroy the names and reputations of others. Let us be prudent with our words so that we may not undermine the character and credibility of others. Let us be like Joseph in protecting and promoting the good and life of those whom we love and of those entrusted to our care.
Let us ask St. Joseph to help us pray to God so that God may grant these two.
See Today’s Readings: Solemnity of St. Joseph
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