31st Sunday Ordinary Time

31st Sunday Ordinary Time

Vol.6 No.8 DoM E Message

Spiritual Gift of the Week
We ask for the grace of a childlike willingness
to shamelessly do whatever is necessary to seek Jesus.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, we are all your children!

Spiritual Instruction of the Week
Let us pray with the quiet gentleness, strength and compassion of St. Joseph

Dear Beautiful Daughters of Mary,

Many thanks to Mary Ann McConnell who delivered our meaningful prayer instruction on St. Joseph this week. Please read, reflect and enjoy:

We are blessed with the richness of our Faith. As we review this morning Mass readings from St. Paul to the Ephesians 5:21-33, he speaks the words “husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church….. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.” It was a perfect introduction to my plan to present to you facts about St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and life in the Holy Family. Pope John XXIII has called him the ‘the most hidden of all the saints of God.’ Since we are the Daughters of Mary and have great devotion to Mary, I wanted to do a little more in depth study into St. Joseph.
What facts do we know about Joseph from scripture?
Joseph never speaks a word in the scriptures. He is quiet, strong and cooperates with God’s plan.
· We know he was a Humble man and a carpenter who lived in Nazareth.
· He was a Holy Man. He was chosen by God to take care of the Son of God – to be his Foster Father. He was to raise Jesus in the faith of the Chosen People. *** If you were going to pick a person to be your son’s father what qualities would you be looking for?
· We know that he was Compassionate and Caring. When he discovered Mary was pregnant, Joseph knew it could not be his child. He and Mary were betrothed but they had not had marital relations. Joseph not knowing what to think but having to consider adultery as a possibility, he decided to quietly divorce her not wanting her life to be put at risk as the Jewish custom demanded. He resolved to send her away quietly and not expose her. However, an angel appeared to Joseph and revealed that Mary conceived this child by God. She was to give birth to a son and told Joseph he was to name him Jesus and this child would save his people from their sins. Joseph did as the angel told him and he received her into his house as his wife.
· The Emperor, Caesar Augustus, called for a census of the whole Roman World which required Joseph to bring his wife Mary who was pregnant on a long trip from the town of Nazareth to register her in his ancestral home of Bethlehem, the City of David. Scripture points to us that Joseph came from the Royal line, a descendant of David. Matthew and Luke both write when the angel greeted Joseph they used the title “Son of David” which is the royal title that is also used for Jesus.
· Now in Bethlehem, God becomes Man in the birth of Jesus. A star has appeared. This star has gained attention from astrologers and Kings from the East. Following that star, they are led to Bethlehem to behold the Child King. They had consulted with Herod about the birth and he felt seriously threatened by this “rival” king. So, Herod orders the death of all boys two years of age and under in the area of Bethlehem. Once again a messenger angel comes to Joseph in a dream and directs him to take his wife and son Jesus to Egypt to flee the wrath of Herod. Trusting and obedient, Joseph does as he was instructed.
· As we know, Joseph was not a rich man but Provided for his family according to the Jewish law. Joseph fulfilled the law and brought his family to the temple for Jesus to be circumcised and Mary to be purified. Joseph gave the offering of two turtledoves which was allowed to those who could not afford a lamb.
· Joseph was Obedient, Trusting and a Protector for his family – when the angel told him his family was in danger; he immediately left everything he owned and fled to a strange country with his wife and young baby son. He remained in Egypt until the angel told him it was safe to go back to his home.
· Joseph’s Love for Jesus was evident in his actions. When they were in Jerusalem for the celebration of the feast of the Passover. As Mary and Joseph were returning home from the feast and Jesus had remained behind unknown to his parents. Each thinking he was safe with family and friends, but unable to find him in scripture we read with great anxiety and fear they returned to Jerusalem to search for him.
There is no Biblical coverage of the death of St. Joseph. We can use our own speculation and can imagine what his death would have been like. With this most Perfect of Families, we would think Joseph was being attended by Mary and Jesus praying comforting prayers with him in his last hours. Can’t you envision Jesus placing Joseph, his Foster Father into his heavenly Father’s arms.
How does the Church view St. Joseph today? Pope Pius IX devoted himself to St. Joseph. He solemnly declared the Holy Patriarch Joseph, as patron the Catholic Church and set his feast day as March 19th.
Pope John XXIII is called the Pope of Saint Joseph with his deep devotion to Saint Joseph. The Pope repeated praised Joseph’s virtuous life and encouraged us to imitate is actions in our lives.
St. Joseph is the patron saint of a Happy Death and patron saint of Workers.He is the patron saint of Fathers, patron saint of real estate in the Sale of Homes.
St. Joseph is the Patron Saint of Jesuits. Our Jesuit Pope Francis in 2015 dedicated Vatican City to St. Joseph who is the guardian of Jesus, the guardian of the Holy Family. In his dedication prayer of 2015, he asked St. Joseph to “watch over and give peace to this land bathed by the blood of St. Peter.”
On another occasion, he spoke about St. Joseph as recorded in scripture was found resting and an angel came to him in his dream and revealed God’s will for him. The Pope suggested we should pause from our daily obligations and activities, and give God a chance to speak to us. Pope Francis tells a cute story…. In his room, he has a statue of St. Joseph sleeping. When he has a problem or a difficulty, he writes it down on a piece of paper and places it under the statue so that he can dream about it. Meaning Please St. Joseph pray for this problem and resolve it for me.

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