Malvern Minute – Monday

March 20, 2017 – Solemnity of Saint Joseph

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A Reading from the holy Gospel according to 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.

 
Reflect: Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid. Upon learning that Mary was pregnant, it is reasonable to believe that Joseph experienced confusion, anger, shame, sadness and disappointment. However, he was “a righteous man” who sought to do God’s will. His first inclination was to divorce Mary quietly rather than expose her to the law and probable stoning to death. He pondered. He prayed. God spoke to his heart through a vision where an angel spoke to him: “Do not be afraid. Take Mary into your home. The Holy Spirit has this under control. In fact, Mary will bear a son who will be a savior to his people.” WOW! So wanting to do God’s will and feeling the peace of God through this message, Joseph put one foot in front of the other. He said yes to God, one step at a time. And – the rest is history – Salvation History! Joseph’s “yes” had to blend with Mary’s “fiat” – “be it done unto me” – so that God’s will would be done in our midst. They struggled, but desired to do what God wanted. Jesus was born. God came to us. Saying yes to God’s will is a huge part of being disciples. As we follow Jesus, as we make him known in the world, he asks that we yield to his will; for great things will happen, one step at a time. God is there speaking: “My son, my daughter: Do not be afraid. I am with you.”

Questions: Do I ask God daily to give me a heart that seeks to do his will and cooperate with his grace? Can Lent be a time for me to give up some of my will so that I can be more willing to generously serve others in Jesus’ name? When I am filled with anger, shame, bitterness, confusion, sadness or disappointment, might that be the time when I seek most to ask God to show me his will?

Pray: Loving God, thank you for the life of Saint Joseph. Through his example and intercession, help me to focus on your will; to serve you; to bring your presence to others with the way I live. I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint Joseph: Pray for us!

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