Feast of Joseph the Husband of Mary
Monday, March 20, 2017 St. Joseph, Husband of Mary
1st Reading: 2 S 7:4–5a, 12–14a, 16
2nd Reading: Rom 4:13, 16–18, 22
Gospel: Mt 1:16, 18–21, 24a (or Lk 2:41–51a)
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and from her came Jesus who is called the Christ—the Messiah.This is how Jesus Christ was born. Mary his mother had been given to Joseph in marriage but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her.While he was pondering over this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a son. You shall call him ‘Jesus’ for he will save his people from their sins.”When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do and he took his wife to his home.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Today the Church honors St. Joseph, the husband of Mary. He is one of the very few saints whose feast is celebrated twice in a calendar year, namely, the Feast of Joseph the husband of Mary (March 19), and the Feast of Joseph the Worker (May 1). In other ecclesiastical territories, a third feast is celebrated for him, called the Feast of the death of Joseph.
Righteousness was St. Joseph’s outstanding asset, yet it was also his greatest trial. When he found Mary with child before they lived together, Joseph had the law in his mind, the law punishing with death any woman caught with child by another man. Being a righteous person, Joseph had no option but to divorce her quietly and so save her from shame and death.
Joseph was “righteous” because in every decision he made he sought the Will of God. Because he sought God’s Will, God did not abandon him when he was at the crossroads of decision-making. God enlightened him about his role in the plan of salvation. He cooperated in docility by taking under his care Mary and Jesus.
The role of Joseph was crucial to the design of God’s salvific act. It was Joseph who gave Jesus the identity of being “son of David”. Joseph was of Davidic lineage and he conferred upon Jesus such lineage although he was only Jesus’ foster-father.
Thus far are the reasons why St. Joseph is so special to the Church and is even honored with two feasts in a year. Our celebration of these feasts however will remain empty rituals unless we honor him with a life of righteousness. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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