Thursday, March 19, 2015
Radical faith of St. Joseph: Daily Mass Homily--Thursday, March 19th, 2015 (Solemnity of St. Joseph)
(Listen to this homily here).
St. Joseph doesn’t have a line in Sacred Scripture. But his actions speak volumes.
First, in the opening verses of the Gospel according to Matthew, Joseph learns of Mary’s pregnancy: “Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.” We probably think, “Well that was a nice act, Joseph.”
In the mind of a Law abiding Jew, Mary’s pregnancy would have warranted death! Remember the woman caught in adultery in John 8? She was about to be stoned when Jesus stepped in. Joseph knew that Mary’s baby wasn’t his, and instead of turning Mary in, he was going to divorce her quietly.
Here the angel intervenes: “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.”
Even with 2000 years of reflection, the Annunciation and Immaculate Conception may be hard to believe. Indeed, they are both impossible at the natural level. Now imagine Joseph—who didn’t know the whole Jesus story—be told that Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit! What faith!
Joseph, like us, was a sinner. Yet look at the extraordinary faith he had. It would not be an overstatement to say his faith was radical.
St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church, pray for us.