Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
March 19, 2021
A blessed and happy feast day to all the dear Sisters of St. Joseph
who have touched so many of our lives over the years.
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 89 as we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph.
Joseph is a beloved figure despite that we know him only in outlines. So little is said about him in scripture, yet we draw our sentiments from how he treated Mary and Jesus. Through their relationships, we imagine a man who was spiritual, thoughtful, faithful, gentle and wise. These conclusions have generated an immense devotion to Joseph over the centuries, one that I share. He is my go-to-guy in prayer when discerning and faithful wisdom is needed.
But, beyond devotion, our psalm today reminds us of Joseph’s true and clear significance in salvation history. It was through his house that God’s promise to David was finally fulfilled.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;Psalm 89: 2-3
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness,
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
The person and life of Joseph is a lived confirmation of God’s faithfulness expressed centuries before in the psalmist’s hopeful proclamation:
I have made a covenant with my chosen one,Psalm 89: 4-5
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.
Joseph was, as Paul describes in our second reading, a witness to “the righteousness that comes from faith.” In other words, it is only because Joseph believed and lived out of his belief that God’s Promise was fulfilled in him and in the world he knew.
This is the deep lesson Joseph offers us, even beyond the stretch of our devotions. By faithful righteousness, Joseph – with Mary – became the new “House of Promise”. From that house, the New Covenant in Christ was fulfilled for all of us.
Poetry: O Sapientia – by Madeleine L’Engle
It was from Joseph first I learned of love. Like me he was dismayed. How easily he could have turned me from his house; but, unafraid, he put me not away from him (O God-sent angel, pray for him). Thus through his love was Love obeyed. The Child’s first cry came like a bell: God’s Word aloud, God’s Word in deed. The angel spoke: so it befell, and Joseph with me in my need. O Child whose father came from heaven, to you another gift was given, your earthly father chosen well. With Joseph I was always warmed and cherished. Even in the stable I knew that I would not be harmed. And, though above the angels swarmed, man’s love it was that made me able to bear God’s love, wild, formidable, to bear God’s will, through me performed.
Music: Te, Joseph, Celebrent