May the Lord grant you grace and peace in the Holy Spirit.
Are we serene and serving or lazy and bossy?
It is on 20th March 2023. We celebrate the Solemnity of St Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today we honour him as the Spouse of Mary and the guardian of the Church, the spouse of Christ. We reflect on 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16; Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22; and the Gospel from Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24.
In a new Apostolic Letter entitled Patris Corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis describes the greatness of Saint Joseph that he was the spouse of Mary and the father of Jesus. In this way, he placed himself, in the words of Saint John Chrysostom, “at the service of the entire plan of salvation”.
There is so much to learn from the fatherhood of St. Joseph. There is no better model out there for a father than St. Joseph. We cannot limit fatherhood to biological connections only. The role and privilege of being a father mean walking by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and never dominating anyone entrusted in his care and questioning the wisdom of God.
Being responsible means allowing the other to grow and groom the way one can be in the best way possible.
St. Joseph is a model of a working father, a creative courage father, an open and accepting father, obedient, and loving father.
St. Joseph did all that was expected of him to do forgoing his interests, wishes, and choices. His Holiness Pope Francis points out in the letter, No. 7, “Fathers are not born, but made. A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child. Whenever a man accepts responsibility for the life of another, in some way he becomes a father to that person.”
The greatness of St. Joseph is not only in his humility, and holiness but in the way, he protected Mother Mary, provided for Her, and accompanied Her without abusing Her in any way. His virtuous living accommodated the respect for Mary and reverence for Jesus to grow up under his loving care, not with control. The spirituality of fatherhood in Joseph solely depends on his unwavering faith, unquestioning obedience and deep docility to follow the will and plan of God.
Every father needs to allow the children to grow up without possessing them, overprotecting them, and allowing them to decide for themselves yet stand by them to demonstrate a loving and non-judgmental presence to them. Affection, attention, and attitudes of the father help the child to grow up without any pressure. Allowing the children to the centre in the shadow of the father. Love of the father is the only reliable gift and freedom to every child that wants to be chaste and loving.
“It is beyond doubt that Christ did not deny to Joseph in heaven that intimacy, respect and high honour which he showed to him as to a father during his own human life, but rather completed and perfected it,” says St. Bernardine of Siena.
May we please the Lord beyond the season of Lent, to ‘enter into joy’ in Heaven.
As we seek the intercession of St. Joseph, let us emulate his virtues for our lif