Saturday, March 15, 2008

One of my heroes

Today, liturgically in the United States it is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the patron of the Universal Catholic Church. The feast was moved ahead because tomorrow, Palm Sunday, we begin Holy Week. In an age when we are lacking in real heroes St. Josph is one of my heroes! He is such an excellent role model for all of us, especially for the men in the Church today.

In a wonderful book of reflections on the daily readings, "Divine Intimacy" by the late Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O. C. D., I read this morning that St. Joseph is the "just man", a word which signifies perfect virtue and holiness. "He possesses a justice which pervades his whole being, through a total purity of heart and life, a total adherence to God and to His will."

As we all know, Joseph was a man of deep faith. He had to believe what was humanly unthinkable, the motherhood of a virgin, the incarnation of the Son of God! Because of his faith and obedience he merited to have these great mysteries accomplished under his roof!

Father Gabriel wrote that Joseph's dedication to God's will reveals a perfect love; Joseph loved God with all his heart, with all his mind, and with all his strength. His position as head of the Holy Family caused him to enter into a special intimacy with God whose place he held. Imagine! He was Mary's husband. Imagine! He watched Jesus grow before his very eyes. He supported his family with his manual labor. "Joseph lived in the orbit of the mystery of the incarnation; he was its spectator, its guardian, its adorer and its servant....For all of us, in the dark moments of life, St. Joseph's example is an encouragement to unshakeable faith, to unreserved adherence to the will of God, to unstinting service," wrote Father Gabriel.

St. Joseph, pray for us!

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