The Solemnity of Saint Joseph

A Lenten Renewal:
Reflections on the Mass readings in light of our daily lives
By Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
My Dear good People,
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph. As the Gospel for today (Mt 1, 18-24) begins, we see the dilemma of dear Joseph. His betrothed, Mary, is clearly pregnant, but they have not yet come together as man and wife.
According to Jewish Law dating back to the time of Moses, it would have been unlawful for him to ‘keep’ her, since she had obviously been unfaithful to him. He would have to divorce her. But he was agonizing over that decision because he could not believe his Mary would ever do such a thing.
At the same time, it appears to us as we pray over this Gospel that Mary did not feel she was at liberty to reveal her great Secret to her Joseph. Imagine her agony, then, knowing that Joseph, a man she deeply loved, was devastated on her account.
Ever faithful to God, Mary was willing to be cast away, looked upon as an adulteress (to put it bluntly), because she had chosen to surrender herself completely to the Will of God for her. But at what a price….
How complicated life can get when we give everything to God.
Sometimes we are called on to make impossible decisions for love of Him. We might have to give up those we cherish the most. I’m thinking of young men and women who have entered the Consecrated life or the Seminary against their parents’ wishes, because they knew they desired to embrace the Will of God for them.
I know personally women who have made the nearly impossible decision to continue an unexpected (and ‘untimely’) pregnancy because they believed that all life is sacred to our God.
And I don’t have to tell you that there are, or will be, times in the days of our lives when the Will of God, the Law of God, stands against what others consider the best way to handle a situation and we will agonize over the price we are asked to pay in order to be faithful to God.
It happens to all of us at some point, and we pray today that we will have to courage, the love, to do what is right.
Of course, we see in the reading today that God Himself came to the rescue of both Mary and Joseph by means of a dream in which an angel revealed the truth to St. Joseph, who then ‘took Mary into His home.
Our own dilemmas aren’t always so easily resolved, are they? Yet, even as we are trying to decide what to do, a part of us knows with certainty exactly what we will do. We don’t have a choice, after all, if we are to be true to ourselves. Because being true to ourselves means being true to God. And in our heart of hearts, there just isn’t any other way.
Someone once said to me, This being a good Christian is hard, Sister! But when I stand before God, He will defend me. I trust Him to do that for me. I know He will.
It’s a wonderful way of looking at the Last Judgment, seeing God as our advocate rather than judge. But don’t you think that young man had it right?
Surrender to God and He will do everything for you (Psalm 37:5).
Both here on earth, and when we stand before Him in eternity.
Good St. Joseph, pray for us.
“With Mary, our lives continually proclaim the greatness of the Lord and the joy experienced in rendering service to Him.”

Holy Rule

Make a difference today ~ help us reach those in need!