Sunday, March 18, 2018

Saint March 19 : St. Joseph : Patron of #Engineers, #Families, #Unborn, #UniversalChurch , Workers

March 19 is one of two feast days in which we remember Saint Joseph, husband of Mary, Mother of God, and earthly father to Jesus. Pope John Paul II said of Saint Joseph: “March 19, we will celebrate the solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary and patron of the universal Church. The extreme discretion with which Joseph carried out the role entrusted to him by God highlights his faith even more, which consisted in always listening to the Lord, seeking to understand his will and to obey it with his whole heart and strength. This is why the Gospel describes him as a "righteous" man (Mt 1,19). In fact, the just man is the person who prays, lives by faith, and seeks to do good in every concrete circumstance of life.”
Little is known about the life of Saint Joseph, and what is known is taken directly from the Scriptures. Joseph was a descendent of David, the king of Israel, and therefore of royal lineage. However, this bloodline did not result in wealth of privilege. Rather, we know that Joseph was a poor, working man, trained in the trade of carpentry. While devout in following Jewish law, he could only afford turtle doves, rather than the recommended lamb, as sacrifice at the circumcision of Jesus.
By all counts, Joseph was a humble and gentle man, perhaps a bit older than Mary upon their betrothal, but this fact is unclear. We are told in the Scriptures that upon discovering that Mary was pregnant, but not realizing that she has been selected as the vessel of the Incarnation of the Lord, Joseph plans to take care to divorce her quietly. Despite what must have been humiliating and upsetting news, he understands that public divorce would lead to judgment, shame, cruelty, and even possible stoning of Mary for adultery, and this is something he cannot bear the thought of.
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."
24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25)
Of course, as we know from the Gospel of Matthew that Joseph was not only caring and compassionate in his consideration of Mary, he was also a righteous and devout man, obedient to the Lord. Upon receiving his announcement from the angel of the Lord, Joseph followed his instructions perfectly, naming his new son Jesus on the eighth day after his birth. When the angel returned and told Joseph to flee to Egypt, he did so, struggling to make ends meet for his family in a strange and foreign land. And when the angel told him to return, he again packed up his family and life, moving to Nazareth in Galilee. There, he works in a carpentry shop, and we are told that Jesus oftentimes accompanies or assists him there. After that, the history of Joseph primarily comes to an end. Only when Jesus is twelve, and is missing for three days in the temple, do we again hear that Joseph and Mary searched for Jesus with great anxiety, testament to the fact that Joseph loved his son, and served as a good father.
Biblical historians and scholars agree that Joseph likely died sometime between Jesus’ twelfth and thirtieth birthday, as Mary is described as widowed by the time Jesus begins His public ministry. Little is known about Saint Joseph’s death, although we can imagine that it was a death surrounded by the love of Mary and Jesus, and therefore holy, the way in which we might all chose to leave this earth. Saint Brigid of Sweden said of Saint Joseph: "St. Joseph was so reserved and careful in his speech that not one word ever issued from his mouth that was not good and holy, nor did he ever indulge in unnecessary or less than charitable conversation. He was most patient and diligent in bearing fatigue; he practiced extreme poverty; he was most meek in bearing injuries; he was strong and constant against my enemies; he was the faithful witness of the wonders of Heaven, being dead to the flesh and the world, living only for God and for Heavenly goods, which were the only things he desired. He was perfectly conformed to the Divine Will and so resigned to the dispositions of Heaven that he ever repeated" May the Will of God ever be done in me!" He rarely spoke with men, but continually with God, whose Will he desired to perform. Wherefore, he now enjoys great glory in Heaven."
Saint Joseph utters no recorded words in the Bible. We see a gentle man, compassionate with his wife, loving and concerned for his son, and obedient to the will of the Lord. He demonstrates bravery and courage, dedication to his role as father, and humility. Apart form Mary, Joseph is the individual who spent the most time with our living Lord. We can picture instructive moments in the carpentry shop, and the fatherly pride that Joseph must have felt for Jesus, his son. Saint Joseph’s willingness to answer the call of the Lord with gentle and compassionate courage prepared the way for the birth of Jesus, for His coming into our lives. How can we use the life of Saint Joseph as a model for our own, answering the call of the Lord, and bringing his Son, Jesus Christ, into the lives of others?
Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
Oh, St. Joseph, I never grow weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen. Text shared from 365 Rosaries Blog

Pope Francis "In the image of Jesus crucified is unveiled the mystery of the.. supreme act of love..." FULL TEXT + Video

FULL TEXT of Pope Francis at Angelus: 
Today’s Gospel (Cf. John 12:20-33) recounts an episode that happened in the last days of Jesus’ life. The scene takes place in Jerusalem, where He was for the feast of the Jewish Passover. Some Greeks also arrived for the ritual celebration. They were men animated by religious sentiments, attracted by the faith of the Jewish people and that, having heard talk of this great prophet, came to Philip, one of the twelve Apostles, and said to him: “We wish to see Jesus” (v. 21). John highlights this phrase, focused on the verb to see, which in the vocabulary of the evangelist means to go beyond the appearances to grasp the mystery of a person. The verb that John uses, “to see,” is to get to the heart, to get to the depth of the person, inside the person, with the sight, and with understanding.
Jesus’ reaction is surprising. He doesn’t answer with a “yes” or a “no,” but He says: “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified” (v. 23). These words, which seem at first glance to ignore the question of those Greeks, give, in reality, the true answer, because one who wishes to know Jesus must look within to the cross, where His glory is revealed. To look within to the cross. Today’s Gospel invites us to turn our gaze to the crucifix, which isn’t an ornamental object or an accessory of clothing – sometimes abused! – but is a religious sign to contemplate and understand. In the image of Jesus crucified is unveiled the mystery of the Death of the Son of God as supreme act of love, source of life and of salvation for humanity of all times. We were healed in His wounds.
I can think: “How do I look at the crucifix? As a work of art, to see if it’s beautiful or not beautiful? Or do I look inside, enter in Jesus’ wounds to His heart? Do I look at the mystery of God annihilated to death, as a slave, as a criminal?” Don’t forget this: to look at the crucifix, but to look at it inside. There is this beautiful devotion to pray an Our Father for each one of the five wounds: when we pray that Our Father, we seek to enter through Jesus’ wounds inside, inside, right to His heart. And there we will learn the great wisdom of Christ’s mystery, the great wisdom of the cross.
And to explain the meaning of His Death and Resurrection, Jesus makes use of an image and says: “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (v. 24). He wants to make it understood that His supreme event – namely the cross, Death, and Resurrection – is an act of fecundity – His wounds have healed us —  a fecundity that will bear fruit for many. So He compares Himself to the grain of wheat that, decaying in the earth, generates new life. With the Incarnation, Jesus came on earth, but this isn’t enough. He must also die to ransom men from the slavery of sin and give them a new life reconciled in love. I said: ”to ransom men”, but He paid that price to ransom me, you, all of us, each one of us. This is the mystery of Christ. It goes to His wounds, enters, contemplates, sees Jesus but from inside.
And this dynamism of the grain of wheat, accomplished in Jesus, must be realized also in us His disciples: we are called to make our own the paschal law of losing our life to receive it new and eternal. And what does it mean to lose one’s life? That is, what does it mean to be the grain of wheat? It means to think less of ourselves, of our personal interests, and to be able to “see” and go to meet the needs of our neighbor, especially the last. To carry out with joy works of charity towards all those that suffer in body and mind is the most genuine way to live the Gospel, it is the foundation necessary for our communities to grow in fraternity and mutual hospitality. I want to see Jesus, but to see Him from inside. Enter in His wounds and contemplate that love of His heart for you, for you, for you, for me, for all.
May the Virgin Mary, who always had her heart’s gaze fixed on her Son, from the manger of Bethlehem to the cross on Calvary, help us to meet and know Him as He wishes, so that we can live illuminated by Him, and bring to the world fruits of justice and peace.
[Original text: Italian]  [Blog share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
After the Angelus
 Dear Brothers and Sisters,
A warm greeting goes to all of you here present, faithful of Rome and from many parts of the world. I greet the pilgrims of Slovakia and those of Madrid; the parish groups from Sant’Agnello, Pescara, Chieti, and Cheremule; the youngsters of the Diocese of Brescia and those of the “Romana-Vittoria” deanship of Milan.
I greet the Italian Folkloric Union, the group of families of Rubiera and the Confirmation candidates of Novi di Modena.
Yesterday I went on a visit to Pietrelcina and to San Giovanni Rotondo. I greet affectionately and thank the communities of the dioceses of Benevento and Manfredonia, the Bishops – Monsignor Accrocca and Monsignor Castoro – the consecrated, the faithful, the Authorities. I’m grateful for the warm welcome and carry all in my heart, but especially the sick of the Home for the Relief of Suffering, the elderly and the young people. I thank those that prepared this visit that I truly won’t forget. May Padre Pio bless you all.
I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian]  [Blog share of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]