Joseph and Mary find Jesus teaching in the Temple

Joseph and Mary find Jesus teaching in the Temple

And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Lk 2:50) In this last Sunday devotion to St. Joseph and the last time that we hear of St. Joseph in sacred Scripture, we locate him finding Jesus in the temple. Joseph and Mary find their son, after three days of heart-wrenching searching, in the temple. When they find Jesus, he is teaching of the Father.

This last devotion happens to fall on the Fifth Sunday of Lent. We have journeyed in this holy season of grace searching to find Jesus in a more personal way, to be closer to Him and to listen to Him speak to our hearts of the Father. In the temptation story in the gospel , we hear Jesus state to Satan: “It is written: the Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.” (Mt 4:11) Jesus faithfully, continually, constantly points to the Father. Jesus is the way by which we come to know the Father whom we desire to worship and serve.

St. Joseph shows us that we need to continue searching until we find Jesus. We don’t know the agony St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother experienced in their three days of searching for the child of God that had been given to their care. We have in them examples of prayerful perseverance and sustaining hope that can encourage us in our journey of faith.

O faithful spouse of Mary, Mother of God, we ask your intercession in this time of discernment that we may be filled with perseverance in our prayer, worship, Lenten practices and seeking of Jesus. By your example, St. Joseph, may we come to know that fidelity and humble obedience to the Father’s will are ways of living with Jesus Christ. St. Joseph, you have led us through this holy season of Lent; be our constant companion, encouraging us by your courageous willingness to do whatever the Father asked of you.

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.

Note: On March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, we will join billions throughout the world in celebration of the installation Mass of the Holy Father Pope Francis. The fatherhood of St. Joseph and of Pope Francis is food for meditation on this day. As St. Joseph was the earthly father of Jesus Christ, Pope Francis is the earthly father of the Church, the Bride of Christ. Both men are chosen by God to be fathers; one the father of His Son, Jesus who is Truth; and the other, the father of His Church which is the “pillar and bulwark of truth.” (1Tim 3:15) Thanks be to God for His love and mercy that provides for us such a mystery of salvation.

st.joseph and older jesus

We may ask ourselves: ‘What is God calling me to do with this life He has given me? How should I serve Him?’ At some point, the question may become more specific: ‘Am I called to consecrated life?’ Here is when we wonder if we can leave our current way of life and take a step of faith into the unknown, placing all our trust in God. St. Joseph shows us that God will provide whatever we need for the journey He places before us. In his sleep, the angel tells Joseph to ‘take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt and remain there until I tell you to return’. So Joseph goes where the Lord directs him, leaving behind the familiar, friends, work, home – all but the child Jesus and Mary.

In Matthew’s gospel, we hear Jesus say: “Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on it…your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Mt 6:25, 32b-33) In His words, Jesus tells us what Joseph knew in his heart.

A ‘yes’ to consecrated life is that step of faith into a land unknown, but in the company of our Lord Jesus and Mary, the Mother of Divine Hope. St. Joseph shows us how to trust. And we have Jesus’ assurance that our Father will care for our needs.

O St. Joseph, head of the Holy Family, your faith encourages us to believe that all things are possible with God. Placing all your hope in Him, you set aside the normal family life and moved in haste to an unknown land. Pray for us, St. Joseph, that we may have the courage to respond to God’s call with boldness and confidence.

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.

PresentationattheTemple

Here is the scene for this fourth devotion to St. Joseph. It is the time for the purification, Joseph and Mary bring the infant Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, as it was written in the law of the Lord. Simeon is in the Temple when they arrive, he takes the child in his arms, blesses God and proclaims his great canticle. Joseph and Mary marvel at what is said by Simeon. Simeon blesses Mary and further proclaims that the child is “set for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and a sword will pierce through your own heart also.” (see Lk2: 35)

How does St. Joseph comprehend this? This child is the “salvation, the light for the revelation of the Gentiles, the cause of the falling and rising of many.” What can this mean, salvation is for the Jewish people, the chosen race, how can this child be the light for the Gentiles? This is a lot for Joseph to ponder and understand. But then Simeon tells Mary that a sword will pierce her heart. Will Mary be wounded? How will this come about? How can Joseph protect his wife from what must sound like an assault? We can begin to see what more is being asked of St. Joseph. His fear he keeps in his heart, but by his presence, he assures Mary that he will care for her and the child. As he experiences concern for his family, he also knows the joy of the coming salvation just foretold.

I imagine that many of us have been in the position of St. Joseph, standing by a loved one when they receive shocking and disbelieving news. Maybe a diagnosis of cancer or Alzheimer’s, or the loss of a job, or the death of a child – even though we may not be able to protect them from the pain and sorrow, we give them hope. St. Joseph is the sign of the silent, sure, faithful presence of hope.

O protector of Mary, Mother of Jesus, you know the joy of salvation and pain of loving someone who has been given a message of suffering. You take unto yourself her pain and let it be transformed in a visible sign of hope. By your witness and your intercession we ask to also be witnesses of hope for the glory of God. St. Joseph, stand by us on this journey.

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.

Joseph names his son Jesus.

Joseph names his son Jesus.

The third devotion of St. Joseph is anchored in this passage from Sacred Scripture:

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. (Lk2:21)

I pray that we will be inspired by St. Joseph’s fidelity and humility. St. Joseph fulfills his first religious obligation and has his son circumcised. Thus God’s covenant with Abraham is fully realized in Jesus, through the faithfulness of Joseph. The Divine Plan of Salvation is held in the work-worn, calloused hands of Joseph, a righteous simple man who gives honor to the law and to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph.

The Hope of the world, just 8 days old, is given the name Jesus; “the name above every other name” (Phil 2:9b). In giving this name, Joseph declares his legal fatherhood and proclaims Jesus’ mission: “You shall call the child Jesus for he will save his people from their sins”. (Mt 1:21)

By virtue of his faithfulness, Joseph holds in his hands the Savior of the world. Through this righteous man’s fidelity, the Savior of the world is placed in our hands every time we receive the Sacred Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. St. Joseph’s decision to follow God’s will leads to our partaking of the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Will our lives lead others to know God’s life-saving Hope?

O humble spouse of Mary, who faithfully obeyed the law of God, by your inspiration, may we receive the grace to respond to God’s call with fidelity and confidence. We place our hands at the service of Hope and our trust in the Holy Name of Jesus, at which ‘every knee shall bend, in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God, Jesus Christ is Lord’. (Phil 2:10)

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,
that we may be freed from all sin and die rejoicing with
the holy name of Jesus in our hearts and on our lips.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Still Watching

December 24, 2012

 

He is coming! He is coming! As we watch for the coming of Jesus Christ our Hope, we are reminded this morning of God’s faithfulness.  The Lord through the prophet Nathan tells King David, “I have been with you wherever you went.”  In every day and moment our Lord is with us.  He knows our joys, sufferings and desires.  He wants to be known to us in the daily events and people in our lives.  He will reside in our hearts if we but let him enter.

O Lord, let our hearts be a manger where you may sleep.  Let us cherish you there and gaze upon you, hold you close and hear our hearts beat with yours.  We are joy-filled with your presence and live in the confidence of your love, for thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.

Our joyful anticipation of Jesus birth this night strains against the constraints of time.  We still watch, but can no longer be still and silent.  We desire to burst into the song of the angels “Glory to God in the highest”.  Joy to the World our Lord is come to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy convent, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.

For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.  Marana thá, come Lord Jesus.

manger

Day 10– Saturday, May 26

His Excellency, Bishop Alvaro Corrada, SJ

 

Give them virtue’s sure reward;

Give them your salvation, Lord;

Give them joys that never end.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, Stanza 10

 

Sacred Scripture: Jn 21: 20‐25

 

Prayer: Almighty Father,

Let the love we have celebrated in this Easter season be put into practice in our lives. May we generously give hope‐filled reverence to your ordained ministers and remember them in our daily prayers that they may serve only you.

You have given us new birth. Strengthen us with your Holy Spirit, and fill us with your light. Pour out your grace upon our Bishops, that they may zealously and faithfully guide the Church in unity. May they manifest your sacrificial love for your Bride, Mother Church. By tireless teaching of the Truth, may they protect your flock and give you glory.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, in union with you and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen. Alleluia.

 

Give them virtue’s sure reward;

Give them your salvation, Lord;

Give them joys that never end.

Day 9– Friday, May 25

 

On the faithful, who adore

And confess you, evermore

In your sevenfold gift descend.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, Stanza 9

 

Sacred Scripture: Jn 21: 15‐19

 

Prayer: Father,

In glorifying Christ and sending us your Spirit, you opened the way to eternal life. May our sharing in this gift increase our love and make our faith grow strong. Grant faith and courage to all deacons, priests and bishops who are in captivity and enduring torture for your holy name.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, in union with you and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen. Alleluia.

 

On the faithful, who adore

And confess you, evermore

In your sevenfold gift descend

.

Day 8– Thursday, May 24

 

Bend the stubborn heart and will,

Meet the frozen, warm the chill,

Guide the steps that go astray.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, Stanza 8

 

Sacred Scripture: Jn 17: 20‐26

 

Prayer: Father,

Let your Spirit come upon us with power to fill us with his gifts. May he make our hearts pleasing to you, and ready to do your will. May deacons and priests be united in will and love with their Bishop, thus manifesting your Holy Trinity.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, in union with you and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen. Alleluia.

 

Bend the stubborn heart and will,

Meet the frozen, warm the chill,

Guide the steps that go astray.

Day 7– Wednesday, May 23

 

Heal our wounds, our strength renew,

In our dryness pour your dew,

Wash the stains of guilt away.

                     Veni, Sancte Spiritus, Stanza 7

 

Sacred Scripture: Jn 17:11b‐19

 

Prayer: God of mercy,

Unite your Church in the Holy Spirit that we may serve you with all our hearts and work together in unselfish love. Through your holy priests, you offer us your forgiveness, heal our wounds, and reconcile us to each other. May men generously give their fiat to your call to holy orders.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, in union with you and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen. Alleluia.

 

Heal our wounds, our strength renew

In our dryness pour your dew,

Wash the stains of guilt away.

Divine light

Day 5– Monday, May 21

 

O most blessed Light divine,

Shine within these hearts of yours,

And our inmost being fill!

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, Stanza 5

 

Sacred Scripture: Jn 16: 29‐33

 

Prayer: Lord, Light Divine,

Send the power of the Holy Spirit upon us that we may remain faithful and do your will in our daily lives. Give your deacons, priests and bishops knowledge and understanding that they may proclaim your Gospel in word and deed.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, in union with you and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen. Alleluia.

 

 

O most blessed Light divine,

Shine within these hearts of yours,

And our inmost being fill.