Skip to comments.(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
Posted on 03/19/2003 6:54:21 AM PST by Pyro7480
St Joseph represents the last of the Old Testament patriarchs. For seventeen hundred years, even since God said to Abraham, the first of the patriarchs, "Go forth from the hand of your kinsfolk and from your father's house" (Gn 12:1), God has been calling His people forward, calling them out of themselves into His way. St. Matthew traces Jesus' lineage from Abraham through David to Joseph - that is, from God's first call to faith, through His promise to make David's royal throne firm forever, to the man designated to be Mary's husband and Christ's foster-father. When we encounter Joseph in the Gospel, we encounter a man who lets God rule his life, a man who does not demand his own way, a man who let God call him forward. He took Mary into his house when an angel told him to do so; he led Mary and Jesus to Egypt when they were in danger; and when he found Jesus, at the age of twelve, in the Temple, he accepted the words, "Did you not know that I had to be in my Father's house?" (Lk 2: 49). If we are true Christians, there is something of Joseph in each of us, something that says, God directs my life, and that's how it ought to be. St Joseph, pray for us!
Fr. Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J a native of the Bronx, NY, is professor of theology at Fordham University, where his area of specialization is early Christian theology; his particular interests are Origen, St. Augustine, and the history of biblical exegsis.
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BTTT on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this year celebrated on 3-20-06!
|Reading||From a sermon by Saint Bernardine of Siena, priest|
|The faithful foster-father and guardian|
|There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favour chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfil the task at hand.
This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Josephs wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: Good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your Lord.
What then is Josephs position in the whole Church of Christ? Is he not a man chosen and set apart? Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honourably introduced into the world. Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ. But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.
In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close. He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfilment. What the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms.
Obviously, Christ does not now deny to Joseph that intimacy, reverence and very high honour which he gave him on earth, as a son to his father. Rather we must say that in heaven Christ completes and perfects all that he gave at Nazareth.
Now we can see how the last summoning words of the Lord appropriately apply to Saint Joseph: Enter into the joy of your Lord. In fact, although the joy of eternal happiness enters into the soul of a man, the Lord preferred to say to Joseph: Enter into joy. His intention was that the words should have a hidden spiritual meaning for us. They convey not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy, but also that it surrounds him and engulfs him like an infinite abyss.
Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster-child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. Amen.