Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Solemnity of St. Joseph: Towards a meditation

With comments in parentheses added today)

"The second Office reading is from Sermon 2 on St. Joseph by the great Franciscan preacher Bernardino of Siena, and it is helpful on the day of such an important saint about whom, ostensibly, we know so little. The extract opens with the claim that whevever God wishes to impart his grace to a person, or select him for a particular honour, he gives him all the girts needed to sustain him in the demands of that calling. (Surely our present Holy Father is a living example of the truth of this statement.)It is especially true of (his patron) Saint Joseph.

Bernardino has faith that Jesus would have especially kept his promise in the case of his foster-father and said to him after death, 'Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.' At this point I have an annual twinge of poignant recollection that, as Joseph probably died before Jesus, he would have been among those Our Lord loved and led to the light from the darkness of hell. Perhaps the roots of Joseph's legendary fear of death lie in this.

Next we are reminded that the Church owes a great debt to Mary, because through her cooperation with God the Father, God the Son was able to enter into the world through the action of God the Holy Spirit. We owe Joseph special thanks and reverence too, because he played his part in bringing up the child Jesus to manhood and prepared him to go out into the world. In Joseph the integrity of the patriarchs and prophets is vindicated, and he had the amazing privilege of seeing in the flesh, the Messiah that God had prominsed to them.

We know from Luke's Gospel that Jesus was obedient to Joseph and paid him the honour and respect due from a son to his earthly father. Again Bernardino has faith that in heaven Christ will have transformed, completed and perfected His relationship with Joseph. In the light of this, Joseph the Carpenter, husband of the Virgin Mary, must be a powerful intercessor for us with Christ, to whom Bernardino appeals at the close of the Office ecerpt.

Reading Bernardino makes me think that the little we know of Joseph is actually a great deal, for in him, on a very human level, are lessons we should learn about doubt, obedience, love, service, and responsible love and protection of those in our charge."

from 'Thorn, Fire and Lily' copyright J. Mossendew 2004

A happy and blessed patronal feast day to our Holy Father Pope Benedict. Ad multos annos!


CG said...

Jane, I think you might like this brief meditation by one of the Benedictine nuns of East Hundred

Jane said...


Thank you for this. I certainly did enjoy it! I used to visit the site quite regularly to keep up with hte meditations. But since I've had responsibility for this blog and partial resp. for another,...well I needed the reminder!

I'll put the East Hendred blog on my bloglist.

Thanks again.
Have a blessed and fruitful passage through to Easter.