Thursday, March 19, 2015

What He Said

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Definition of Love
I moved a step farther toward accepting my complete inability to change another person and my inability to change myself. Love has been called many things, but maybe one definition would be the utterly unbridgeable gap between any two humans and the attempt to bridge it anyway.
— from Stumble

St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

The Bible pays Joseph the highest compliment: he was a "just" man. The quality meant a lot more than faithfulness in paying debts.

When the Bible speaks of God "justifying" someone, it means that God, the all-holy or "righteous" One, so transforms a person that the individual shares somehow in God's own holiness, and hence it is really "right" for God to love him or her. In other words, God is not playing games, acting as if we were lovable when we are not.

By saying Joseph was "just," the Bible means that he was one who was completely open to all that God wanted to do for him. He became holy by opening himself totally to God.

The rest we can easily surmise. Think of the kind of love with which he wooed and won Mary, and the depth of the love they shared during their marriage.

It is no contradiction of Joseph's manly holiness that he decided to divorce Mary when she was found to be with child. The important words of the Bible are that he planned to do this "quietly" because he was "a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame" (Matthew 1:19).

The just man was simply, joyfully, wholeheartedly obedient to God—in marrying Mary, in naming Jesus, in shepherding the precious pair to Egypt, in bringing them to Nazareth, in the undetermined number of years of quiet faith and courage.


The Bible tells us nothing of Joseph in the years after the return to Nazareth except the incident of finding Jesus in the Temple (see Luke 2:41--51). Perhaps this can be taken to mean that God wants us to realize that the holiest family was like every other family, that the circumstances of life for the holiest family were like those of every family, so that when Jesus' mysterious nature began to appear, people couldn't believe that he came from such humble beginnings: "Is he not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother named Mary...?" (Matthew 13:55a). It was almost as indignant as "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" (John 1:46b).


"He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph's wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: 'Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord'" (St. Bernardine of Siena).

Patron Saint of:

Happy death
Social justice
Universal Church

Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.


At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
He is always waiting, listening for our call.
What a wonderful blessing.
No phone needed, no e-mails, just a whisper.


It is so easy to get caught up
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free.
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.


In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground. Can I see where the Lord has been present?

The Word of God

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reading 1 2 Sm 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16

The LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
"Go, tell my servant David,
'When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his kingdom firm.
It is he who shall build a house for my name.
And I will make his royal throne firm forever.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.'"

Responsorial Psalm Ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 and 29

R. (37) The son of David will live for ever.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness,
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. The son of David will live for ever.
"I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations."
R. The son of David will live for ever.
"He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.'
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm."
R. The son of David will live for ever.

Reading 2 Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22

Brothers and sisters:
It was not through the law
that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
that he would inherit the world,
but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
For this reason, it depends on faith,
so that it may be a gift,
and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants,
not to those who only adhere to the law
but to those who follow the faith of Abraham,
who is the father of all of us, as it is written,
I have made you father of many nations.
He is our father in the sight of God,
in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead
and calls into being what does not exist.
He believed, hoping against hope,
that he would become the father of many nations,
according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.
That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.

Verse Before the Gospel Ps 84:5

Blessed are those who dwell in your house, O Lord;
they never cease to praise you.

Gospel Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
"Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins."
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

Or Lk 2:41-51a

Each year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
"Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety."
And he said to them,
"Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them.

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection


What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side and share my feelings with him.


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives

Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him. (Matthew 1:24)

When Joseph heard the news about Mary's surprise pregnancy, he was probably upset. To all appearances, Mary had broken her vow to him, violating his trust in an extremely careless way. The reasonable conclusion for a "righteous man" like Joseph was to divorce Mary quietly so as not to cause any more trouble for her (Matthew 1:19).

But through an angel, God helped Joseph come to a conclusion that was based on something greater than human logic alone. Joseph began thinking according to the logic of divine love and not just human reasoning. God's grace filled his heart and helped him see a bigger picture.

Today's Gospel reading shows us how grace builds on our nature. It takes our good qualities and fills them with God's goodness. It was grace that moved Mary to say yes to the angel's invitation to become the Mother of God. It was grace that moved Joseph to embrace his vocation as the guardian of Israel's Messiah. It's the same grace that empowers us to accept God's calling and wisdom for our lives.

Our human reason is a precious gift from God, but it was never meant to function independent of God. Our heavenly Father wants to teach us how to use his logic, the logic of divine love, as the foundation for all our thoughts, decisions, and actions. But for this to happen, we have to become sensitive to his grace.

Try this experiment the next time you are at Mass. As you are praying and listening to the readings, quiet your heart, and pay attention to whatever comes into your mind. If you get a sense of God's love or if you feel peace welling up in you, accept it as a moment of grace. If you sense a new calling—to serve the poor, to become a catechist, or to give your neighbor a helping hand—recognize that it is most likely a grace-filled invitation from the Lord.

May we all be as open to God's grace as Joseph was!

"Thank you, Father, for your amazing grace!"


2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22



What He Said

The son of David would establish a Kingdom forever, so is said in today's 1st Holy Scriptures, thanks be to God.  The Lord spoke to the prophet and said of the Son to the Son "...I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me."
The Psalms declare "The Son of David will live forever", and the Lord says again ""I have made a covenant with my chosen one".  Let's keep this in mind as we lead on.
The second reading we read "He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist."  But before that we read,
 "It was not through the law

that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
that he would inherit the world,
but through the righteousness that comes from faith."

All one can gather is that the word "just" and "righteous" are one and they are synonymous with the word "holy".  Sadly, nowadays, there are attempts not only on the Blessed Mother's holiness but also the great St. Joseph's holiness.  It is sad to see a world want you to join in its misery.  God loves joy especially that which springs forth from holiness, a super relationship with God that is attainable to all who strive for such a gift.  And yet, it is a gift of faith.  I have said this week, that faithfulness isn't that life of one having lived in faith, but one that is found full of faith.  Yet, the mother, and the father of God resemble that of our fathers, Abraham and Sara.  It does not say in the bible that Joseph was an old widower as some theogians try to say.  You can study the bible until your face is blue, but it will not make you holy.  And so it is a sad story to read about the book of life and have no life within you.  (we must be converted)
The Holy Gospel brings about the story of the Holy Family of God.  St. Joseph, and Our Blessed Mother Mary, and their son Jesus, "born abnormally" much like St. Paul would say later about his conversion.  They lose sight of Jesus, distracted, and supposing He is in the caravan, a parade of people on a pilgrimage.  Yet, that is our story, isn't it?  We find ourselves on a pilgrimage, and with all that's going on, we lose sight of Jesus.  And then after finally having found Him we dare to ask "where have you been!?  We have been so full of anxiety and stress!!".  And the Lord reveals a prophecy from all the fathers in the world to His Father, our Father  "Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"
Oh Lord.  I look out upon the world, and I see many distractions.  Oh mighty Father, help us realize the great truth just revealed to the just, and those striving to be just.  How can we ever lose sight of our Father's House?  Is that where I left Jesus and not have Him with me?
Because Jesus serves Himself on the altars across the world and into our hearts.  Not meant to be left there but taken to my corner of the world.  It is a conundrum for me Lord, to see your people come to your house and not bring you into theirs.  Why oh why are they not allowing or are allowed?  I pray for my people Oh Lord.  Tonight, I will pray for more that are dying of diseases, I will lay my hands on them, because I know their souls suffer not having you in their home, that is your body in ours, your holiness lived, your life...lived.   (disease of sin)
Yours is an everlasting covenant, and yes Lord I believe.  Forever means now.  Now is the time.  Jesus, I pray as you well know for all who read this.  You know the driving force is your great love.  I pray that you keep every heart steadfast and clean.  This is your father St. Joseph, and your Mother Mary in Heaven, we love you so much and can't wait to see you.   And this is why our hearts are restless until they are once again found in unison, and as a whole with Jesus, everything we could ever need or want. 
The tears that choked me during the communion song were because those were the words that were being sung "como no te voy adorar?" (How will I not adore you?) "ya no me falta nada, tengo todo, te tengo a ti" (now I don't need anything else, I have everything...I have you).

Amazing and Great Wondrous Love of Heaven, Thank You