Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

The readings can be found at http://usccb.org/bible/readings/032112.cfm

My brothers and sisters, the Gospel of Matthew today teaches us something about parenthood, and the fruit of parenthood. Mary was found with child by the Holy Spirit and angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to tell Joseph not to reject her, but to instead take Mary into his home and have her as his wife. Joseph is told to have no fear and that Mary would conceive a son, and that he would be named Jesus because he would save his people from their sins. As shocking as this might have appeared to be, Joseph was obedient to the Lord’s messenger and took Mary into his home as he was commanded to do.

In no less a way, God, the ultimate source of all life, continues to bring new life to women and men today. By the power of the Holy Spirit women and men become mothers and fathers. I remember when my wife, Jill, and I found out that we were pregnant with our first son, Mark. We were excited, overjoyed, and yes, scared to death. Jill was afraid that she, only recently learning to be a wife, would not be able to be a good mother to our son. I was afraid that having no father around to guide me into manhood that I would be ill equipped to guide my own son. I can still remember Jill and I both so stressed out and afraid. It is no wonder the first thing the angel tells Joseph, and always Jesus told his disciples, to, “Be not afraid!”

The truth is that all life, from conception to natural death is a wonderful gift from God. We believe that God creates life, nourishes life, sustains it, and chooses when it ends. For a variety of reasons men and women, especially young men and young women, today are afraid of the the thought of having (more) children. They fear that they don’t have enough education, finances, time, resources, support, etc. While I can certainly understand those fears, one must admit, that they are only fears nonetheless. None of us owns or controls the future, and none can even imagine the grace and gifts the Lord has in store for those who trust in Him. The Gospel of Life teaches us to be not afraid! It teaches us to be courageous! Courage is not the absence of fear, after all, but a willingness to trust and do the good we are created to do in spite of it. It is during those times that we trust in God, call on Him, ask Him for the support, grace, and guidance we need to do His will.

Both Mary’s and Joseph’s “yes” to God, their courage, and their willingness to trust in Him brought Jesus, God’s salvation, into the world. People were fed, taught, healed, and made whole again by the work of Christ while He ministered on earth. His life brought life, and his death brought eternal life to the world. What will your “yes” to God and life produce? Only God knows. Trust in Him. Do not be afraid. Say “yes” to life!

By catholicevangelist

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