Day Twenty Seven of Lent: St. Joseph of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Luke 2
“Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for You with great anxiety” –Lk 2:48.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
We find little written about St. Joseph in Holy Scripture but the scenes that do include him are powerful even when masqueraded as ‘everyday life’ — work, faith, an engagement, pregnancy, fatherhood, etc. Not surprisingly, all the stories of St. Joseph are similar to what we encounter during our lifetimes. Because of this, St. Joseph’s quiet strength and immense courage is unfortunately oftentimes overlooked.
In the two Gospel readings offered as options today (see below), we get a sneak peak at 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 the infant Jesus, to his acceptance of the Archangel Gabriel’s message in a dream, to his inspirational fatherhood and discovery of Jesus in the temple, St. Joseph always put his family first.
In our Gospel message today, Mary says to Jesus: “Your father and I have been looking for you…”. How does Jesus reply? “Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s House?” – a reminder of where Jesus can still be found today. We later read that Jesus returned with his family, ‘advancing in wisdom, age and favor before God and man’ (Lk 2:52). This advancing in ‘wisdom, age and favor’ could no doubt have only happened under the proper and virtuous guiding of His earthly parents – just as God had intended for all children.
St. Joseph was specifically chosen by Almighty God to be the foster father of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, for a reason. Joseph’s Christ-likeness shine a powerful light on his divinely-inspired virtues such as faith, selflessness, meekness, extraordinary work ethic, courage etc. As such, he became the perfect earthly father for us to emulate and look up to. So the next time you are feeling unappreciated, not given your due or overlooked, prayerfully reflect upon Saint Joseph, your spiritual father who, through faith, kept God as his number one priority, remained courageously devoted to his family and always did the right thing – even when it was challenging, painful and dangerous.
Day 27 Lenten Meditation
Put yourself in St. Joseph’s shoes for a moment. You are living a “normal” life, working your trade, engaged to a woman for marriage etc, when all of the sudden you are blindsided by an encounter with a heavenly angel delivering a supernatural message – one that is almost impossible to wrap your mind around and will undoubtedly change your life. Rather than lash out however, you reflect. Finding solace in your Creator, you wisely choose to listen and obey, and thus embark on the unthinkable – completely surrendering your will for Divine will in the process.
Ask yourself: How do you remain in faith when you are worried and confused? How do you think St. Joseph was able to maintain his faith in the face of such uncertainty? The answer is he kept God first in his life and prayed unceasingly. St. Joseph was a man of unwavering faith and prayer. He trusted God above everything else, loved his bride, the Mother of God, as well as the Son of God who he ultimately offered his life for. In light of this, St. Joseph is not only our model but a reminder that we are called to maintain unwavering faith and perseverance no matter what. When nothing makes sense, do as St. Joseph did – pray, trust and persevere with God. That is the tried-and-true pathway of Saint Joseph; the pathway of sainthood; and the pathway called forth for us by God Himself.
Additional Readings Today
O good and courageous St. Joseph, unsung hero of Scripture, show us how to live in humility and austerity, not for ourselves but for others. Show us how to trust and act with compassion in every situation no matter what we may encounter. Father of all Mercy, grant us the grace of a closer friendship with and devotion to Saint Joseph. By Your grace and like St. Joseph, make us more dependent upon You for everything we need. Help us to surrender our will and possess complete trust in You like he did. We pray this all in Your good and holy Name, amen.
Today’s suggested penance
Pray in a special way today to our spiritual family, St. Joseph, Mother Mary and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Repent for any sin weighing on your heart and vow to amend your ways.
“Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession” –Saint Isidore of Seville.