Monday March 20, 2017
Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.” (Pope Francis – Evangelii Gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel)
These are perhaps odd words from Pope Francis to use on this Feast of St. Joseph, yet I think they are words which reflect the life of Joseph. He was a laborer and he faced many challenges in his life especially when God came calling. St. Joseph was a person of life, an ordinary person who through faith did extraordinary things. St. Joseph is a wonderful image of the kind of Church Pope Francis wants, a compassionate, loving and joy filled Church.
Today we celebrate St. Joseph a person we know very little about but what we know can be an inspiration for all of us. He was a simple man skilled in the use of his hands to shape, form and build. He was an ordinary man placed in an extraordinary situation. He was a faith filled man who staked his life on the promises of God.
St. Joseph wanders into our life through a few verses of scripture and leaves a lasting impression. In every situation, we find him, he pursues the right thing to do. He is a righteous man who cares about the people around him. He is a loving man who protects those he loves. He is a hope filled man who places his trust in his relationship with God.
Yes, in his ordinariness St. Joseph stands as an example for all of us and we live our lives of faith. He is a model of quiet faithfulness. He is the hopefulness that husbands and fathers can bring to a family. He is an example of loving attention to God’s presence. He is the humble father who reminds us of the gift of family life and the challenge of living for others!
As we celebrate St. Joseph today as the husband of Mary let us honor his faithfulness, his hopefulness and his love by letting him be an example that helps us to live our life of faith caring for those around us.
Happy St. Joseph’s Day to all! Have a great Monday and may the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in your heart.
Father Paul Fagan, C.P.