Thursday, December 18, 2014

St. Joseph's role in Christmas: Daily Mass Homily--Thursday, December 18th, 2014

(Listen to this homily here).   

            Sometimes we overlook St. Joseph during this time of year.  Indeed, there is not one word from Joseph’s mouth recorded in the Bible!  On a side note, I sometimes feel sorry for St. Joseph.  He lived with two sinless people—Mary and Jesus.  If anything went wrong in the house, it was his fault!
            Yet St. Joseph had some amazing qualities.  First was his great love of Mary and Jesus.  Remember how Fr. Brandon talked about different levels of love?  Passionate love, friendly love and self-sacrificing love?  I’m sure Joseph experienced each type towards the woman to whom he was betrothed—Mary.  But when he found out she was with child he protected her from a punishment of death.  He wanted to divorce her quietly, giving up his hopes and dreams for the sake of his beloved.  That’s true love—agape love!
            Joseph was a man of deep faith.  He had a dream that an angel was speaking to him.  Instead of waking up and saying (as I frequently do after dreaming), “What was that about?  What did I eat yesterday?” he did as he was told.  He understood this was a genuine message from God.  To discern God’s voice in this way meant that Joseph was a man of deep faith, dedicated to prayer and Jewish worship.
            It is interesting that out of the four Gospels, only Matthew and Luke record Jesus’ birth.  In Matthew Joseph takes the lead role in the story—in Luke our Blessed Mother does.  These two accounts must be read in concert as we see how the Holy Family got its start.
            Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!

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