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St. Joseph, Husband of the BVM - Fr Alberic Maisog

-There had been lots of people who had written about St. Joseph. They did this primarily by meditating his dignity and integrity.

-The fact that he was chosen among the sons of men to be the protector and provider of the Blessed Virgin Mary and guardian of Our Lord Jesus when he was still young gives us a glimpse of the sterling quality of his character.

-Both St. Joseph the son of Jacob, as the Gospel tells us, and Joseph of the O.T. who was also a son of Jacob, descended from Abraham the father of faith as the 2nd reading tells.

-Just as the Joseph of old was sold into Egypt because of the jealousy of his brothers and eventually became the ruler of Egypt, and the provider of food for all the people in time of famine, so also the new Joseph fled into Egypt because of the jealousy of Herod and brought with him the Living Bread that will one day be distributed not only in Egypt but throughout the whole world, so that those who are hungry for eternal life may have their fill and be satisfied.

-And just as the Joseph of old was given the gift to interpret the intricacy of dreams, so also the new Joseph was given not only to act out his dreams but above all to participate in the mysteries of heaven.

-If we consider how St. John the Evangelist was beloved by Our Lord and to him was entrusted the Blessed Virgin Mary, then, we can have a pimpid picture of how St. Joseph is beloved by God for entrusting to him no only the Blessed Virgin Mary but also His only Son.

-However, devotion to St. Joseph as emphasizing his position in the Holy Family originated relatively late in Church history. It did not flourish even in the Middle Ages, but was reserved for our day, though many saints, like St. Bernard of Clairvaux, praised his virtues and singular privileges.

-The chief reason for this delay was undoubtedly the fear that St. Joseph’s unique role as virginal husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and father of Our Lord Jesus, by spiritual ties, might have caused misunderstanding about the dogmas of Mary’s perpetual virginity and Our Lord’s miraculous origin in the Blessed Virgin Mary.

-In the 15th cent., St. Bernardine of Siena actively spread the cult of St. Joseph, but it was particularly St. Teresa of Avila who popularized him in a lengthy passage of her autobiography. She writes: “I cannot call to mind that I have ever asked him at anytime for anything which he has not granted….To othere saints Our Lord seems to have given grace to help men in some special necessity, but to this glorious saint, I know by experience, he has given grace to help us all.” St. Teresa’s first convent was dedicated to St. Joseph.

-Pope John XXIII inserted the name of St. Joseph into the Roman Canon, place the 2nd Vatican Council under his patronage, and in his talks often made allusions like this: “To learn to obey, to learn to keep silence, to speak when need arises, with moderation and courtesy, this is what St. Joseph teaches us.”

-Popular psychology has given its preference to the talker, the one who opens himself or herself completely, who expresses himself or herself. And, undoubtedly, with some reason.

-But isn’t there still a place in our lives for what we might call the “strong, silent type” who is notable for getting things done quietly and without a fuss?

-Thus St. Joseph is faith in action. His steadfastness, simplicity, and understanding of the great mystery of Our Lord’s birth make him an example to us.

-Therefore, with confidence let us draw near to St. Joseph and ask him for the Living Bread, the bread of sincerity and truth, Christ Jesus Himself who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

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