- John 3:16 -
- From: "Traudel" <richarra@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 10:46:18 -0500
- John 3:16 -
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that
whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Some people are repulsed by the idea of eternal life because their lives are
miserable. But eternal life is not an extension of a person's miserable,
mortal life; eternal life is God's life embodied in Christ given to all
believers now as a guarantee that they will live forever. In eternal life
there is no death, sickness, enemy, evil or sin. When we don't know Christ,
we make choices as though this life is all we have. In reality, this life is
just the introduction to eternity. Receive this new life by faith and begin
to evaluate all that happens from an eternal perspective.
March 19th - Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin,
Virginal Father of Jesus
and Patron of the Universal Church
(d. ca. 30)
Saint Joseph was by birth of the royal family of David, but was living in
humble obscurity as a carpenter, until God raised him to the highest office
ever accorded a mortal man, by choosing him to be the spouse of the Virgin
Mother, the virginal father and guardian of the Incarnate Word. Joseph, says
Holy Scripture, was a just man. He was innocent and pure, as became the
husband of Mary; he was gentle and tender, as one worthy to be named the
father of Jesus; he was prudent and a lover of silence, as became the master
of the holy house; above all, he was faithful and obedient to divine calls.
His conversation was with Angels rather than with men. When he learned that
Mary bore within Her womb the Lord of heaven, he feared to take Her as his
wife; but an Angel bade him put his fear aside, and all doubts vanished.
When Herod sought the life of the divine Infant, an Angel told Joseph in a
dream to fly with the Child and His Mother into Egypt. Joseph at once arose
and obeyed. This sudden and unexpected flight must have exposed both him and
his little Family to many inconveniences and sufferings; the journey with a
newborn infant and a tender virgin was long, and the greater part of the way
led through deserts and among strangers. Yet Saint Joseph alleges no
excuses, nor inquires at what time they were to return.
Saint Chrysostom observes that God treats in this way all His servants,
sending them frequent trials to clear their hearts from the rust of
self-love, but intermixing with afflictions, seasons of consolation. It is
the opinion of the Fathers that when the Holy Family entered Egypt, at the
presence of the Child Jesus all the oracles of that superstitious country
were struck dumb, and the statues of their gods trembled, and in many places
fell to the ground. The Fathers also attribute to this holy visit the
spiritual benediction poured on that country, which made it for many ages
fruitful in Saints.
After the death of King Herod, of which Saint Joseph was informed in another
vision, God ordered him to return with the Child and His Mother into the
land of Israel, which our Saint readily accomplished. But when he arrived in
Judea, hearing that Archelaus had succeeded Herod in that part of the land,
and apprehensive that the son might be infected with his father's vices, he
feared to settle there, as he would otherwise probably have done, for the
education of the Child. Therefore, directed by God through still another
angelic visit, he retired into the dominions of Herod Antipas in Galilee,
and to his former habitation in Nazareth.
Saint Joseph, a strict observer of the Mosaic law, journeyed each year at
the time of the Passover to Jerusalem. Our Saviour, in the twelfth year of
His age, accompanied His parents. Having participated in the usual
ceremonies of the feast, the parents were returning with many of their
neighbors and acquaintances towards Galilee, and never doubted that Jesus
was with some of the company. They traveled on for a whole day's journey
before they discovered that He was not with them. But when night came on and
they could find no trace of Him among their kindred and acquaintances, they,
in the deepest affliction, returned with the utmost haste to Jerusalem. We
are left to imagine their tears and their efforts to find Him. After an
anxious search of three days they discovered Him in the Temple, discoursing
with the learned doctors of the law, and asking them such questions as
aroused the admiration of all who heard Him. His Mother told Him with what
grief and earnestness they had sought Him and asked, "Son, why have You
dealt with us in this way? Behold, Your Father and I have searched for You
in great affliction of mind." The young Saviour answered, "How is it that
You sought Me? Did You not know that I must be about My Father's business?"
In this way Jesus encourages all young persons who are called to serve God
to persevere in that high vocation, whatever the cost. But we are told that
although He had remained in the Temple unknown to His parents, in all other
things He was obedient to them, returning with them to Nazareth, and living
there in all dutiful subjection to them.
As no further mention is made of Saint Joseph, he must have died before the
marriage feast of Cana and the beginning of our divine Saviour's ministry.
We cannot doubt that he had the happiness of the presence of Jesus and Mary
at his death, praying beside him, assisting and comforting him in his last
moments; therefore he is invoked for the great grace of a happy death and
the spiritual presence of Jesus in that hour.
Reflection. The words of the Pharaoh to those who applied to him for aid,
"Go to Joseph" are fitting for the second great Joseph of sacred history.
Saint Teresa of Avila said she never had recourse to him in vain. Saint
Joseph, vicar of the Eternal Father upon earth, protector of Jesus in His
home at Nazareth, and affectionate lover of all children for the sake of the
Holy Child, should be the chosen guardian and model of every true Christian
Sources: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin
(Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 3; The Holy Bible: Old and New
If there be a true way that leads to the Everlasting Kingdom, it is most
certainly that of suffering, patiently endured.
31. But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is
thine. 32. But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this
thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found.
In honor of Saint Joseph, Protector of the Church, a prayer:
O glorious Saint Joseph, chosen by God to be the foster-
father of Jesus, the chaste spouse of Mary ever Virgin, the
head of the Holy Family and then appointed by the Vicar of
Christ to be the heavenly patron and defender of the Church
founded by Jesus, most confidently do I implore at this
moment thy powerful aid for all the Church militant on earth.
Do thou shield with thy truly paternal love especially the
Supreme Pontiff and all the Bishops and priests who are in
union with the Holy See of Peter. Be the defender of all who
labor for souls amidst the trials and tribulations of this life,
and cause all the peoples of the earth to submit themselves in
a docile spirit to that Church which is the ark of salvation for
Be pleased also, dear Saint Joseph, to accept this dedication
of myself which I now make unto thee. I dedicate myself
which I now make unto thee, that thou mayest ever be my
father, my patron and my guide in the way of salvation.
Obtain for me great purity of heart and a fervent devotion to
the interior life. Grant that, following thine example, I may
direct all my actions to the greater glory of God, in union
with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the immaculate heart of
Mary and in union with thee. Finally pray for me that I may
be a partaker in the peace and joy which were thine at the
hour of thy holy death. Amen.
Imprimatur: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbp of New
York, May 30, 1951.
The first sorrowful mystery prayer of the Eucharistic Rosary,
to be offered before the Blessed Sacrament:
The Agony in the Garden, offered for fervor in prayer and
sorrow for sin:
Divine Saviour, under the weight of sorrow and sadness
caused by our sins, Thou fallest, bathed in a sweat of blood,
and Thou endurest a mortal agony. In the Blessed Sacrament,
also, Thou art still more humbled and annihilated on account
of our sins.
We adore Thee and we compassionate Thy agony of suffering
in the Garden of Gethsemane, as well as Thy agony of
humiliation in the Eucharist, and we beg of Thee, through the
intercession of Thy holy Mother, a heartfelt sorrow for our
Imprimatur: + John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York,
Sept 19, 1908.
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