Day 31: St. Joseph of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Luke 2:48
“Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for You with great anxiety.”
Today’s Lenten Reflection
We get to see so little of St. Joseph in Scripture, but the scenes that do include him are powerful, even though they masquerade as everyday life — work, faith, an engagement, a pregnancy, fatherhood, etc. It all sounds very much like what we encounter, so it’s easy to overlook St. Joseph’s quiet strength and immense courage. In the two Gospel readings offered as options today, we have the opportunity to see Joseph doing what he did best: caring for his family with no concern for the cost to himself. From his willingness to protect Mary and baby Jesus, to his acceptance of the message of an angel in a dream, to his inspirational fatherhood and discovery of Jesus in the temple. Mary says to Jesus, “Your father and I have been looking for you…” And how does Jesus reply? “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s House?” Jesus was of course talking about God’s House, the temple. We hear later that Jesus advanced in wisdom, age and favor before God and man (Lk 2:52), which could only have happened with Joseph and Mary guiding Him there. So often we go through life feeling like we are unappreciated, not given our due, and overlooked. During those times, we can come back to Saint Joseph, who kept moving forward, doing the right thing, even when it was challenging, painful, or nearly impossible to fathom.
Day 31 Lenten Meditation
Put yourself in St. Joseph’s shoes. You’ve got a “normal” life. A trade you’ve been trained for, a spouse to marry, a good life ahead. And then, before you even get started, you are blindsided by news that you can’t wrap your head around. Rather than lash out, you reflect, listen to an angel, do the unthinkable (at least for a man of your place and time), and completely surrender. You put one foot in front of the other day after day, no matter what strange (divine!) or seemingly unbearable situation presents itself. How do you not lose faith? How did Joseph not lose faith? Prayer. Daily, many times daily. He trusted in God, he trusted his spouse, and in the Son he was raising. We, too, are called to have unwavering faith and perseverance. When nothing makes sense, pray, trust, and persevere. That is the pathway of Saint Joseph.
Good St. Joseph, unsung hero of Scripture, show us how to live not for ourselves but for others, to trust and act with compassion no matter what we encounter in life. Father of Mercies, grant us the grace of a closer friendship with Saint Joseph. Make us more dependent on You for everything that we need, in complete trust and surrender like him. Amen.
Today’s suggested penance
*Pray in a special way to our spiritual family, St. Joseph, Mother Mary and our Lord, Jesus Christ.
“Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession” –Saint Isidore of Seville.