St. Joseph

03-20-2022Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19th. St. Joseph is known as the foster father of Jesus and the husband of Mary. Besides this feast, he is also honored on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1.

I feel blessed to have Joseph as my middle name. It may be easy to forget about the humble man of God because of his few appearances throughout the Bible. But his special role in Jesus’ life can really be a great source of inspiration and strength for us. I ask for his intercession every day. 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.

There are several moments in Matthew’s gospel of the birth of Jesus that shed enormous light on St. Joseph’s simple, yet profound, holiness. It also might provide some much needed insight and guidance for us as we find our way through life.

St. Luke describes Joseph as a “righteous” man, devoted to the Mosaic Law. As a faithful Jew, St. Joseph was a man who “knew the rules.” When Joseph found Mary to be pregnant, 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 refusing to expose her shame. In other words, he was a man of mercy. He also was a prayerful man, making mercy possible. In a dream, he discovers that he should not shy away from taking Mary as his wife. He welcomes her immediately.

I believe St. Joseph’s example teaches us that we should preserve the dignity of every human being, regardless of his or her mistakes or shortcomings. We should always speak and live the truth but extend the mercy of God when others fall short.

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 shocking message! Yes, St. Joseph, a simple carpenter, obediently follows the message of the Angel, sacrificing everything to protect the Christ child.

So, St. Joseph was a loving, merciful, prayerful, and obedient man of God.

St. Joseph, pray for us!