4th Sunday of Lent

03-14-2021Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

During the year of St. Joseph, we will be celebrating the Solemnity of St. Joseph this Friday, March 19. We will celebrate the feast at the 6:30am and 8:30am Masses. My middle name is Joseph and I consider St. Joseph to be my patron. St. Joseph has always held a special place in the heart of Christians throughout the world. I ask for his intercession often. I pray to him for those who need jobs, for the dying (he is the patron of a happy death), for fathers and for purity. To combat and overcome Satan's lies, the Church needs St. Joseph!

Of course, St. Joseph played a unique role in Jesus' life. There are several moments involving St. Joseph that shed light on his simple, yet profound, holiness. His example and protection are the only way out of the crazy times we currently find ourselves living in. I can't think of a better model than St. Joseph, Head of the Holy Family and the Terror of Demons, to help us understand what marriage and the family are about.

St. Luke describes Joseph as a "righteous" man who was devoted to the Mosaic Law. As a faithful Jew, St. Joseph was a man who loved God and His Commandments. When Joseph found Mary pregnant and unmarried, he had the right (or some say even obligation) to expose Mary's seemingly adulterous activity. The penalty for adultery was death by stoning.

Yet bigger than the rules, St. Joseph shows loving compassion to Mary. He decides to divorce her secretly and refuses to expose her shame. In other words, he was a man of mercy. He also was a prayerful man of God which thereby made mercy a reality in an otherwise difficult situation. In a dream, he discovers that he should not shy away from taking Mary as his wife. He welcomes her immediately.

St. Joseph's example teaches us that we should preserve the dignity of every human being, regardless of the situation. We should always speak and live the truth but extend the mercy of God when others fall short. As our spiritual father, St. Joseph models for all God's children the value of showing mercy and preserving the dignity of the person.

St. Joseph also protected the Holy Family. In Matthew's gospel, after the birth of the Christ child, an angel appears to him in a dream saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." What a jolting message! Yet St. Joseph, a simple carpenter, obediently follows the message of the Angel, sacrificing everything to protect the Christ child and the Blessed Mother.

St. Joseph was a loving, merciful, prayerful, and obedient man of God. For these qualities, he was chosen as the patron of the Universal Church. I am praying to him as our parish continues planning for our full reopening, post Covid. Far from just "going back to normal," our plan is to leverage what we have suffered to make us the greatest representation of the universal Church that we can be. And we will need his intercession as we seek to guide more than a few sheep back into the fold.

St. Joseph, Pray for us!