Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph – the man whom I’ve tried to model my entire life as a husband and father after. There is very little that we know of this man, but he truly was a man of God, a man true to his word, a beautiful example of the meaning of manhood. Bishop Barren’s reflection this morning was so good that I could not pass up passing this on to all you reading this…
Friends, today we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph.
Every episode of Joseph’s life is a crisis. He discovers that the woman to whom he was betrothed was pregnant. He resolved to divorce her quietly, but then the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream and explained the anomalous pregnancy. So Joseph understood what was happening in the context of God’s providence and he took Mary as his wife.
Next, discovering that the child was in mortal danger, Joseph took mother and baby on a perilous journey to an unknown country. Anyone who has ever been forced to move to a new city knows the anxiety that Joseph must have felt. But Joseph went because God had commanded him.
Finally, we hear of Joseph desperately seeking his lost twelve-year-old son. Quietly taking the child home, Joseph once more put aside his human feelings and trusted in the purposes of God.
The little we know about Joseph is that he experienced heartbreak, fear unto death, and a parent’s deepest anxiety. But each time, he read what happened to him as a theo-drama, not an ego-drama. This shift in attitude is what made Joseph the patron of the universal Church.
Reflect: Think of the last crisis you encountered. Did you handle it as part of a theo-drama (God’s plans and purposes) or as part of an ego-drama (your own plans and purposes)? Reflect on the differences between these two perspectives and how each one shapes your attitude and behavior.
At dinner with my wife and Fr. Siefert last night, my wife brought up a great point about the current crisis – the COVID 19 pandemic – if any good comes of this it is from the fact that families are being forced to be with each other again. As we begin to isolate ourselves from all the turmoil around us, it is the strength of our immediate families that will sustain us. There is no better day than today to celebrate the patron of the Universal Church – St. Joseph. Let’s not dwell on our fears, but give those fears to God to handle. Take a quick look at the dollar bill sitting in your wallet (before you go to spend it on toilet paper) – IN GOD WE TRUST. Celebrate St. Joseph; celebrate your family; turn to God with all your prayers and concerns.
Do something great for our Lord today – celebrate your theo-drama – what we call life. God is the author of life; let Him direct your “play” accordingly.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.
But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.
Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and extend Your mercy in us so that in difficult times we may not despair or become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.