It is 19th March 2018. We celebrate the Solemnity of St Joseph, the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Saint Joseph is the most prominent saint endowed with humility and intimacy with Christ as the foster father. The Catechism of the Church (CCC. 437) praises St. Joseph in the following lines: “God called Joseph to ‘take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit, ‘who is called Christ,’ should be born of Joseph’s spouse into the messianic lineage of David.” The readings bring out and hail the qualities of St. Joseph. He was just, pure, gentle, prudent and unfailingly obedient to the divine plan of God. Among all the virtues the Scripture reveals about St Joseph, one that stands so tall is the faithfulness to the Lord until the last breath of his life. It was Pope Blessed Pius IX named him Patron of the Universal Church, and Pope Blessed John XXIII included his name in the Roman Canon, the Eucharistic Prayer One. The readings are from 2Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16; the second reading is from Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22; and the Gospel from Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24. The entrance antiphon acclaims: “Behold, a faithful and prudent steward, whom the Lord set over his household.” (Lk.12:42). God promises through the prophet Nathan that God’s throne is secured through the Davidic lineage and sovereignty. The responsorial Psalm praises, “The son of David will live for ever.” (Ps.89:29). In the second reading, St. Paul points out that we are the children of Abraham and so we need to have the faith and the faithfulness like him in our lives. The Gospel reiterates the qualities of a husband in a sacred marriage. St. Joseph had the respect, the sensitivity towards his spouse Mary, willing to keep the secret between him and her, not exposing the vulnerability of his spouse, not ashamed of his wife and the condition she was in, trusting in God to the fullest, protecting Mary from the evil eyes and tongues from his family members and friends and the country men and women. In this modern world, the husbands are occupied and immersed looking for money and fame not the true intimacy. The addiction towards TV, the cyber world, the alcoholism, the drugs, the unfaithfulness, the violent domestic abuse towards the spouse, the betrayal of one’s own wife to the friends and family, valuing the family of origin more than the spouse are justified to safeguard the so-called patriarchal structures. The roles of husband and wife are invaded by a stranger, and the family members. The secret and sacredness of the husband and wife are sacrificed and even deprived to uphold the love towards the parents and siblings. A good husband is the one loves his wife with all her strengthens and weaknesses. The non-judgmental presence of the husband is the best gift to his wife. He is the gift not material possession. A faithful and loving husband places the interest of the wife before all else. A good husband is the one protects the marriage from the in-laws and predators of the marriage. Unless and until, just like St. Joseph, the husband of and wife need to become man and woman prayer, the intimacy, and sacredness of the marriage is under threat every single second. An exemplary husband builds and protects his spouse with the virtues of humility, love and respect. A man who abuses the spouse physically, sexually, emotionally and relationally exposes his impotency to love towards the spouse and exposing his hidden attachment to someone other than the spouse. Let us pray for the couples whom we know that they need become serious in their commitment in protecting their spouse and children than the family of their origin. When in doubt, and beyond understanding, let the spouse recourse to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to safeguard the sacredness of the family. May Saint Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for the couples. May you have a good day.

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