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Feast of St. Joseph (March 19)

March 19, 2003

Blessed Feast of St. Joseph!

2 Samuel 7: 4-5, 12-14, 16
Psalm 89:2-29
Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24 or Luke 2:41-51

We get to take a break from Lent today (no fasting on a feast, remember… 🙂 to celebrate the feast of Jesus’ foster-father, St. Joseph. Our first reading speaks of the staying power of David’s dynasty. God promises that his throne will stand firm forever. Joseph, descendant of David, inherits this promise and passes it on to Jesus, the ultimate Son of David. Our second reading goes back even farther, referring to God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants that they would inherit the earth. Abraham received this promise by faith, and we who choose faith become his spiritual children (whether we can claim Jewish genealogy or not), inheriting his promise. Joseph, too, chose faith, inherited the promise, and passed it on. In the Gospel we read of his faith, of his obedience in taking responsibility for an unwed mother and the child that he knew wasn’t his. That obedience cost him dearly. We don’t know, but can guess how tongues wagged, presuming him guilty of impurity with his betrothed. Did it cost him business in the carpentry shop? We do know that his “yes” to God cost him a flight into a foreign land to save the life of this Child, cost him grief and worry before they found the boy Jesus in the temple. But what a privilege he gained, to live day by day, hour by hour in intimate communion with the Word made flesh!

May we who choose to live by Joseph’s faith grow in intimacy with the Son he nurtured.

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