SAINT JOSEPH

The Catholic Church celebrates annually the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, on March 19th. This beautiful feast always falls during the season of Lent. Because it is a “solemnity”, there is a “Gloria”, “Creed”, and Second Reading during the liturgy. The “Gloria” is of special significance because even on Sundays throughout Lent, this beautiful part of the Mass is not sung or said. Why is Saint Joseph considered such an important person in the Catholic Church? First and foremost, he was chosen by God to be the husband of Mary, and therefore, the foster father of Jesus. What an incredible honor and privilege given to Joseph! Also very important, is the fact that Joseph’s ancestry can be traced back to King David, whose “house” Jesus would come from (2 Sam 4-5). What else do we know of Joseph from the Sacred Scriptures? He was a “righteous man”(Mt 1:19). Rather than expose Mary’s perceived “adultery”, which would have led to her being stoned to death, Joseph was just going to divorce her quietly. This is the point where we also see Joseph’s “obedience” to God. After the angel told Joseph God’s plan – that Mary was still a virgin, and that her son Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, Joseph “did as the angel of the Lord commanded him”(Mt 1:24). His obedience to God’s will flowed out of his strong faith in the Lord. Joseph was also a very humble man, accepting sort of a backseat in the whole scheme of things. He was the only sinner in the Holy Family, which included the Immaculate Conception (Mary) and God (Jesus). If something went wrong, it was always Joseph’s fault! Joseph’s humility can also be seen in the fact that there are no recorded words of his in the Scriptures. He was a man of silence, simply accepting God’s Plan as it unfolded. There is so much more that can be said of St. Joseph. Let us seek his intercession, asking him to pray for us to Jesus, and most importantly, let us try to imitate his example of holiness.

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