March 20, 2017

Joseph

March 20, 2017:  St. Joseph, husband of Mary

See 13 connections with today?
Legend below
Listen

For Psalm 89
Pope Francis homily
Today's Gospel tells how Joseph, in obedience to the angel, took Mary as his wife.  Joseph, silent and obedient, carries the promises of ancestry, heritage, fatherhood, sonship, stability.  This man, this dreamer, carries God's promise onward in silence, with strength, so God’s will might be done.  He doesn't speak but can tell us much.  He has great authority without letting it be seen.  What God confides to Joseph are “weak things”:  promises, the child's birth, the flight into Egypt.  Joseph takes them to heart and carries them forward with the tenderness of taking a child in your arms.
He doesn’t speak but obeys.  He's the man of tenderness, capable of carrying promises forward till they become certain.  He guarantees the Kingdom's stability, God's fatherhood, our sonship as God's children.  I think of him as the guardian of weaknesses, of ours too; he can give birth to beautiful things from our weaknesses, even from our sins.  He's the guardian of weaknesses so they might become firm in faith.  But he received this duty in a dream:  he can dream.  He's the guardian of God's dream, of our redemption, entrusted to him.  He was silent, but he worked, guarded, carried weaknesses forward, and dreamed.
Lord, give us the ability to dream, that when we dream great and beautiful things we might draw near to your dream, what you dream about us.  Give young people the capacity to dream, to risk, to undertake the tasks they see in dreams.  Give us the faithfulness that grows when we have a just attitude, that grows in silence, that grows in tenderness that guards our and others' weaknesses.
Read
  • 2 Sm 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16  Lord to Nathan for David:  “I'll make your heir's kingdom firm.  He'll build me a house.  I'll be a father to him; he a son to me.  Your house and kingdom shall endure forever.’”
  • Ps 89:2-5, 27, 29  "The son of David will live for ever."  I'll sing the Lord's promises forever.
    Colored because today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph;
    it recalls the "coat of many colors" of another dreaming Joseph
  • Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22  The promise was made to Abraham, through the righteousness that comes from faith, that he would inherit the world.  He believed and hoped that he would become the father of many nations.
  • Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a  Mary, betrothed, was found with child.  Joseph decided to divorce her, but the angel said the Spirit conceived in her; take her and name him Jesus.  Joseph did as the angel commanded.
  • Lk 2:41-51a  Jesus, 12, went with his parents to Jerusalem, then stayed behind.  His parents returned and found him in the temple.  Mary/Jesus:  “Why have you done this to us?” / “Didn't you know I must be in my Father’s house?”  He returned with them and obeyed.
Reflect
      • Creighton:  Jesus' different view of God attracted many:   God cares for the poor, and we can talk with him directly.  God is approachable, warm, and loving.  We can pray to him from our hearts.  Joseph served as Jesus' father, teaching him about scripture, carpentry, service, and care for the poor.  Joseph's love shaped Jesus’ image of what a father means.  Jesus would have seen the respect Joseph had for people and how he treated them.  Joseph and Mary's marriage had challenges from the start.  Joseph, pray for all husbands and dads....
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Joseph, the 'impetus'":  In 1870, Pope Pius IX declared Joseph "Patron of the Catholic Church" (Redemptoris Custos 28).  In 1889, Pope Leo XIII explained further what the Holy Spirit was doing through Pope Pius:  "[As Joseph] once kept watch over his family, so now does he protect and defend the Church of Christ" (ibid).  Pope St. John Paul II later taught, Joseph's "patronage must be invoked as ever necessary , not only as a defense against danger, but also, indeed primarily, as an impetus for her renewed commitment to evangelization" (ibid, 29).  In his fatherly love for the members of the Church, Joseph calls us to obedience, including a "renewed commitment to evangelization...."
      • Passionist:  Today's readings connect Joseph with David and Abraham; Joseph is an important link in the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham to make him father of a great nation.  God reaffirmed that promise to David, descendant of Abraham, and Joseph, of the House of David.  Joseph identifies Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants.  The Gospel recounts Joseph's story when he was betrothed to Mary.  He didn't rise up in anger at Mary's apparent betrayal but tried to spare her the harsh judgment of others.  He loved Mary and wanted to protect her even then; then he had the dream with the message that Mary didn't betray him but had become God's vessel.  He believes and takes Mary as his wife.  The Bible doesn't say much about Joseph, but it's clear he's the gentle loving protector of Mary and Jesus; he hears God and keeps them safe.  He was present as Jesus grew, taught Jesus his craft, and showed him how to be open to God and love others....
      • DailyScripture.net:  "Joseph did as the angel commanded":  Faith in God's word and obedience go hand in hand.  Joseph is a model of faith and justice.  "Here 'just' signifies one who possesses all the virtues.  By 'justice' one at times understands a single virtue, but here it refers to virtue in general.  Scripture refers to 'a just man and true,' or 'the two were just.'   Joseph was just, i.e. good and charitable..." (John Chrysostom).  His faith was tested when he discovered his espoused was pregnant; it seemed she broke their pledge of faithfulness.  Just and God-fearing, he didn't judge rashly and didn't want to expose her to harm.  God rewarded him with guidance and assurance that he was called to be Mary's husband and assume a mission that would take great faith.  Joseph believed.  He followed God's call and reared, cared for, protected, taught, and trained Jesus; he accepted his role with trust and obedience.  He's a model for all entrusted with the care, instruction, and protection of the young.  God gives strength and guidance to all who seek his help, especially when facing trials, doubts, fears, and challenges....
      • Universalis:  Josephcarpenter who accepted God's will, supported Mary, reared Jesus.  Patron saint of universal Church; also considered patron of artisans and other workers.
      Dress legend
      • 'Castle' button:  Your heir shall build a 'house' for my name  (1st reading); "I must be in my Father's house" (gospel)
      • 'Car' tie pin:  Mary & Joseph thought Jesus was in the caravan (gospel)
      • '?' tie pin:  Jesus was asking the teachers questions (gospel)
      • White shirt:  Liturgical color for St. Joseph celebration
      • 'Angel' pin:  Angel appeared to Joseph
      • Tie with crowns:  I'll make David's heir's kingdom firm (1st reading)
      • 'Rock' tie pin:  God, the Rock (psalm)
      • 'Mary' pin:  Joseph, Mary's husband (gospel)
      • 'Dove' pin:  Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit (gospel)
      • 'Happy birthday, Jesus' pin:  "Joseph, name him Jesus" (gospel)
      • 'Hammer' pin:  St. Joseph, carpenter
      • Purple in suspenders:  Lenten season