St. Joseph, Obedient Sentinal

February 10, 2013

st. joseph and infant jesus

This second devotion of St. Joseph is encapsulated in the events of the infant’s birth in abject poverty and the angels heralding the child born on the glorious night: the sorrow of the birth in poverty and the joy of angelic exultation at the birth. St. Joseph, the guardian of the infant ‘foretold of the ages’ stands as the privileged witness of the birth of the Son of God. This will be one of many events where St. Joseph will be the quiet, obedient sentinel. From the devotion:

Journeying to Bethlehem for the census in obedience to the orders of legitimate authority, Joseph fulfilled for the child the significant task of officially inserting the name ‘Jesus, son of Joseph of Nazareth‘ (see Jn 1:45) in the registry of the Roman Empire. This registration clearly shows that Jesus belongs to the human race as a man among men, a citizen of this world, subject to laws and civil institutions, but also Savior of the World.

Joseph’s obedience gives Jesus his human birthright. But St. Joseph must have been very aware that his obedience to civil authorities in complying with the census led to the Savior being born in poverty. What loving father would not be in anguish in similar circumstances! But his faithful obedience was soon rewarded as he witnessed the angels’ hymn of glory to God, heard the shepherds’ story and saw the magi kneeling at the child’s feet. What loving father would not be in grateful awe at the wonder of God!

O Obedient Sentinel of the son of Mary, you show us that the way of obedience is an avenue of grace and joy. By our baptism, we are called to loving and faithful obedience, with Christ as our model. The obedience of Christ is an embrace of the Father’s will to serve unto death. Within the Pascal Mystery, obedience leads to hope. May all of us follow your example and respond to the Father’s will as disciples ‘chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Sprit for obedience to Jesus Christ’. (1Pt 1:2)

Pray for us, blessed St. Joseph,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Almighty God,
In your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary,
the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth,
may we have the help of his prayers in heaven,
particularly as we discern our chosen-ness.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time


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