March 19, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“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.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

Reflection (Sem. Ramon C. Jamora, Jr.):

     The Gospel presents us with the call of Joseph to be the husband of Mary and his response to it. In brief, he obediently submitted himself to the promptings of the angel and assumed the role of a husband and a father.

     There are two actions of Joseph which I see relevant in his vocation: the decision to divorce Mary quietly and doing what the angel of the Lord has commanded. What is striking in both actions is Joseph’s attitude of being submissive and trusting.

     The first action seems to me as an abandoning or turning away from the will of God. There is a sense of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. On the one hand, the second, which to me is the best decision among Joseph’s actions, is being submissive and trusting to God.

     I believe that the initial response in answering our call to holiness must come from these reflections. Am I still holding on to the uncertainty and fears that comes along with doing God’s will? Or have I surrendered and emptied myself in following God?

     May be we are invited to look deeper into our commitment and relationship with God. I believe that today’s Solemnity of St. Joseph as the husband of Mary draws us to evaluate and deepen our trust in God. Let not today’s celebration distract us from the true feast which is the coming of our Lord Jesus.

      Let us journey with St. Joseph and be inspired by his response to God’s invitation to welcome his family in our hearts. Happy Feast day!

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