Saturday, March 19, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a

SAINT JOSEPH, SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY,  Solemnity - Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph.  Often Joseph does not get much press in the Church. Mary and Jesus are the ones in the forefront of the Gospels.  However, today’s feast is the celebration of a man who had a depth of faith and trust in God that most of us may never have.
In the Gospel reading for today’s feast, Joseph had just learned that Mary was pregnant.   Joseph clearly knew that he was not the father of this child.  Take a moment and imagine the conversation Mary had with Joseph.  How horrible it must have been for both of them!  Mary realized that the tale of how she became pregnant must have sounded completely outlandish!  She must have anticipated that she would be cast aside by Joseph.  It would only be natural.  Despite her deep faith and love in God, she must have been overwhelmed and frightened by this situation.  She still was trying to absorb it all.
Joseph however, was not a run of the mill human being.  He was a man who had walked with God all of his life.  Joseph deeply trusted both God and he also trusted Mary.  As fantastic as her story sounded, Joseph was a man of deep and lively faith, and Joseph had a fantastic story of his own to tell Mary.  He also had been visited by an angel!  This angel had told him what was ahead for both him and for Mary.  Did Joseph wonder if he was losing his mind? Joseph had never had a vision before but he had walked with God throughout his life and he truly believed that God would guide and grace him, even though this path was far beyond human understanding.  God had been the one who had brought Joseph to this moment and Joseph trusted God to be with him and Mary on their journey.  Very few people would have trusted and accepted such a strange and wonderful situation!  Both Mary and Joseph journeyed on together, always trusting in the love and strength of their God!
We all have times when we struggle, when we are angry, confused, or saddened.  When these times come, may we call upon Mary and Joseph and ask them to give us a share of their love, faith and trust in our God who loves us so deeply.  While we may not understand what God is doing in our lives, may we deeply believe that God is with us!

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