SAINT JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF MARY, March 19, Solemnity
I Reading: 2 Sam 7:4-5.12-14.16
II Reading: Rom 4:13.16-18.22
Gospel: Matthew 1:16.18-21.24
We celebrate today the feast of Saint Joseph under the title “husband of Mary”. It is a recent feast; though extended to the whole Church some five hundred years ago, it was only during the last hundred and fifty years that it gradually acquired importance it has today. On this feast we praise God for having led Joseph to the totally faithful to Jesus and Mary, thus contributing wonderfully to God’s plans in saving the world. The Gospel speaks so little about Joseph when narrating the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt. His name appears twice in the Gospel of John, but only to identify Jesus as “son of Joseph” (Jn 1:45; 6:42).
The readings of today discover where the true greatness of Saint Joseph lies:
1. A prophecy of Natan about a descendant from David.
2. Faith in God, expressed n humble obedience, made Joseph truly great.
a. He was a just man, an upright, straight forward person, honest with God and with his neighbour.
b. He accepted Mary and loved her and took care of her as God’s command.
c. Whereas people thought he was an ordinary worker or carpenter but in the eyes of God he was a humble and obedient and a just person.
d. He obeyed always God’s plan and listened to God’s commands.
3. The Matthew Gospel narrates two sentences worth remarking:
I. First the words of the angel: “Do not be afraid...”
II. Secondly, the concluding words of today’s Gospel: “Joseph did as the angel had told him to do; he took his wife to his home (Mt 1:24).
Thought: Because of this humble submission to God’s plans, he was chosen from among all Israelites. The lesson of Joseph should not be lost to us: neither education, nor wealth, power nor position makes a person really great but we are great when we strive to discover God’s plans for us and try to realize them inspite of human weakness.