March 19, 2016 – Saturday in the 5th Week of Lent
Saint for the day: Joseph, husband of Mary
Scripture Readings for today’s Solemnity:
2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24 or Luke 2:41-51
“Behold, a faithful and prudent steward, whom the Lord set over his household.” (today’s Entrance Antiphon – Cf, Luke 12-42)
If we take the phrase highlighted, above from today’s liturgy, we might use it as a kind of “kick-start” to today’s reflection. All we really have to do is take the above words and ask ourselves, “what do they mean to me?” If I begin with the word, “faithful” what would I say? Perhaps I could go back to the Holy Scriptures and give the definition found in Hebrews 11:1 with the understanding that a “faithful” person is one who is full of faith.” Here’s that quote: “Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen.” (Exodus 14:14) This quote if far from anything close to the way most of us react. Most often, we want to know the full scope of anything that we strive for. Joseph seems able to trust the Word of God that came to him in a dream, as we hear in today’s Holy Gospel: “Do not be afraid to take Mary into your home, for it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived.” Today’s feast urges us to be full of faith even in the times when we don’t see the entire picture. Fear is the other thing that most of us have to deal with. When we can’t see the entire picture we most often get fearful. I love the Old Testament story of the exodus when the Israelites come to the edge of the Red Sea and start grumbling at Moses who then comes back at them, “Have no fear! Stand firm. You will see what the Lord will do to save you.” (Exodus 14:14) Bottom line: Whenever we come to a point of doubt that we are in sync with God the last thing in the world that we should do is run away. St. Joseph is the epitome of a person filled with faith and trust in the Lord with no fear to follow. The irony of all of this is the fact that there aren’t a whole lot of scripture passages that focus on Joseph. He is the protector of Mary and the newborn Jesus and takes them to safety in Egypt. He provides for them at the home in Nazareth and worries when Jesus gets lost in the Temple. That’s about all the scripture quotes that he gets and ends his life as the “patron of a Holy Death!” Would that all of us could have a measure of the faith that Joseph in God which enabled him stand firm in the midst of uncertainty. Let us pray to God those words highlighted above and put a strong, “Amen, Lord” to this prayer.