Lenten Reflection for 3/20
Solemnity of St. Joseph
Loving God and Father, who was pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so one day delight in eternal rewards.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16; Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22; Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a
(Click for today’s Readings.)
2 Samuel 7:5a, 14a
“Go, tell my servant David …”
I will be a father to him,
And he shall be a son to me.”
Jesus is wholly human and wholly divine. God is His Father. But Joseph was Jesus’ father on earth. He was in the stable during Jesus’ birth. He presented Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem forty days later. He led his family to Egypt to elude King Herod. He took his family to the Temple for Passover and was worried when he and Mary could not find the twelve-year-old Jesus for three days. Joseph taught Jesus his trade of carpentry.
Pope Francis writes in his Apostolic Letter of 8 December 2020, which he declared to be the beginning of the Year of St. Joseph,
“Each of us can discover in Joseph—the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence—an intercessor, a support, and a guide in times of trouble. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. … Joseph acted as a father for his whole life. Fathers are not born, but made. A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child. Whenever a man accepts responsibility for the life of another, in some way he becomes a father to that person.”
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.
- How can I be obedient to God and to my brothers and sisters in ways that will enrich our lives?
- Like St. Joseph, can I act as a guide to others when they are in trouble?
Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.