Meditation on the Joyful Mysteries on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph

“Behold a faithful and prudent steward, whom the Lord set over His whole household.”

Behold Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, guardian of Your whole Body, prince of the priesthood of the faithful – not immaculate, not sinless, but righteous all the same. He was the first to bring You to Your Father’s house, ransoming You from the Father to humanity so that You could ransom humanity for the Father. Fulfilling the precepts of the Old Law sacrifices, he presaged those of the New. This is why he could only lose You here, in the presence of the Father where You desire all of us to lose ourselves. The singular lapse of his constant watch occurred in the one place You – and we – would always be safe.

Years later, You would give Your servant Peter “the keys to the kingdom of heaven,” setting him up as the steward of your royal house on earth, the one who could be trusted even in frailty to guide and guard the new and eternal Israel of the Church. And in doing so it was as if You were saying, “Be for my sheep what Joseph was for the Shepherd; be the protector, be the guardian, be the father that even I needed on earth. Be, son of Jonah, a faithful one whom the members of my Body can be obedient to, just as the Head of the Body was obedient to a faithful son of David.” May Saint Joseph, in his turn, protect and guide his successors and all the members of Your Body in integrity and righteousness, and may Your Church remain a royal priesthood entire.

“He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.”

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“Merciful Like the Father,” Part 50 – More Than a Slave

Fiftieth in a series of reflections on Mass readings during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings: Wisdom 9:13-18b; Philemon 1:9-10, 12-17; Luke 14:25-33

In the 1970s Mother Teresa – today enrolled in the ranks of the Saints by Pope Francis – was asked in an interview about the poorest country she had ever visited. She said, “I have been to many countries and seen much poverty and suffering. Everywhere I go people tell me of their hardships and struggles, and ask for help, and I give what I can. But of all the countries I have been to, the poorest one I have been to is America.” When asked why, she replied, “Because America suffers most from the poverty of loneliness.” Her words, sadly enough, seem more true today than they did 40 years ago. There’s always a void we just can’t seem to fill. We know just enough to know that the solution lies outside ourselves. But for all the goods we accumulate, for all the knowledge we gain, for all the like-minded “Friends” and “Followers” we have, somehow it’s never enough. For all our reaching out, we’re still stuck inside ourselves.

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