19 Mar – Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Joseph is a descendant of the house of David. A layman and a carpenter, he was the earthly spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and foster and adoptive father of Jesus Christ. He was a visionary who was visited by angels, and is noted for his willingness to immediately get up and do what God told him.
Prayer to St. Joseph
Blessed Joseph, husband of Mary, be with us this day.
You protected and cherished the Virgin;
loving the Child Jesus as your Son,
you rescued Him from the danger of death.
Defend the Church, the household of God,
purchased by the blood of Christ.
Guardian of the Holy Family,
be with us in our trials.
May your prayers obtain for us
the strength to flee from error
and wrestle with the powers of corruption
so that in life we may grow in holiness
and in death rejoice in the crown of victory. Amen.
Patron Saint Index
2 Samuel 7:4-5,12-14,16
The word of the Lord came to Nathan:
‘Go and tell my servant David, Thus the Lord speaks: “When your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. (It is he who shall build a house for my name, and I will make his royal throne secure for ever.) I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Yet I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’
The promise of inheriting the world was not made to Abraham and his descendants on account of any law but on account of the righteousness which consists in faith. That is why what fulfils the promise depends on faith, so that it may be a free gift and be available to all of Abraham’s descendants, not only those who belong to the Law but also those who belong to the faith of Abraham who is the father of all of us. As scripture says: I have made you the ancestor of many nations – Abraham is our father in the eyes of God, in whom he put his faith, and who brings the dead to life and calls into being what does not exist.
Though it seemed Abraham’s hope could not be fulfilled, he hoped and he believed, and through doing so he did become the father of many nations exactly as he had been promised: Your descendants will be as many as the stars. This is the faith that was ‘considered as justifying him.’
…he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do.
I am normally quite stubborn when it comes to sticking with a schedule, even on a weekend. On my recent trip to Italy, I did something previously unthinkable — I cancelled my plans to stay in Milan for 3 nights. Not having been there before on my previous trips to the beautiful country, I was quite determined to explore the Duomo, and had even booked 2 walking tours.
However, in the early hours of the very day I was supposed to take the train from Rome, I woke up and decided to remain in Rome (even if the hotel did not have a spare room for us). Providentially, we were given a room and spent 7 special nights in the Eternal City, meeting new people (from Singapore) and sharing various meals with them. Looking back, it was probably the best decision we made because on the day we left Rome (two weeks later, after spending a week in Florence), we had to declare while checking in at the airport if we had ventured northward.
Brothers and sisters, whether we want to believe it or not, our various journeys are inextricably linked to God. From the day we are conceived, to the day we return to Him, our heavenly Father has mapped out our paths on this earth. It is up to us to ‘listen’ to the voices — whether in our hearts, in our minds, or drummed into us by well-meaning friends — and then make our choices. But make no mistake, whatever the choice we make, God is there for us.
One week after arriving back in Singapore, we look at the situation in Europe and find ourselves turning to each other, thanking God for getting us out of Italy just in time. I look back at the many times I have been ‘saved’ over the decades and truly, God has been the one who rescued me on countless occasions. And it was made abundantly clear to me during my Conversion Experience Retreat in 2011 that He has been ever-present in my, up till then, exciting and colourful life.
And today, He makes His presence felt in many ways — the glorious laughter of my life partner as she makes funny faces for the camera; the recent sharings of ministry members during a ‘meet the members’ session; paving the way for me to step up in my service at CSC; the breathtaking landscapes in a foreign land; the old porter struggling to make ends meet in a train station; the kindness of a hotel manager at 5 o’clock in the morning.
There is no question at all that He is real. The question most of us have is whether or not He speaks to us, let alone cares for us. I testify as someone who has witnessed his glory, seen Him in a vision, chatted with Him and heard His tender voice. He IS real. He IS all around us. He IS there for us.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)
Prayer: Father, ask you to speak to us clearly so that we can be guided by your wisdom and love. We pray that you remove the blinkers in our lives that prohibit us from discerning your voice so that like St Joseph, we can rise up and do your will.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for being our constant light. Thank you for always being there for us in our times of need.