FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
MARCH 20, 2023 Fourth Monday of Lent
SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH
WORD of the DAY
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ. Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. (Matthew 1: 16/18-21/24)
“How shall I live this Word?
A saying of the desert fathers says that silence is a pilgrimage. The path towards truth is a silent path, because in the search for God it expresses the sacred, reveals the profound mystery with which one is in contact. Such a saying can very well be applied to Saint Joseph, husband of Mary and earthly father of Jesus, whose feast we are celebrating today.
Even Joseph, like Mary, had his annunciation but this one has always remained shrouded in silence. Not a word, not even a “Here I am” in response to the call. In Joseph words give way to gestures of protection, support, affection. Joseph’s silence is not empty; it is full of God’s presence. It is necessary to be silent in order to have something to say, because the word proceeds from silent listening; indeed, it is silence that generates the Word.
Joseph is truly the faithful and wise servant who, in silence, listens to the Word and puts it into practice. He welcomes the mystery that takes place in his bride, Mary, and remains faithful to her. He also welcomes her child who is born of her; he protects and assists both in the difficulties of a journey full of unknowns. Joseph, a good and faithful servant, teaches us the way of humble fulfillment of God’s will made of concrete gestures.
Teach me Jesus to keep silence to listen to Your Word and, like Joseph, to put it into practice in daily life.
The Voice of Pope Francis
How does Joseph exercise this custody? With discretion, with humility, in silence, but with a constant presence and total fidelity, even when he doesn’t understand.
How does Joseph live his vocation as guardian of Mary, of Jesus, of the Church? In constant attention to God, open to His signs, available to His project, not so much to one’s own. And Joseph is the “guardian”, because he knows how to listen to God, lets himself be guided by His will, and for this very reason he is even more sensitive to the people entrusted to him, knows how to read events realistically, is attentive to his surroundings, and knows how to make the wisest decisions. In him, dear friends, we see how one responds to God’s call, with availability, with readiness, but we also see what the center of the Christian vocation is: Christ! Let’s keep Christ in our lives, to protect others, to protect creation!”
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sanbiagio.org email@example.com Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment by Sr. Vilma Colombo, FMA