Readings for Friday March 19, 2010
Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 89
Second Reading: Romans 4:13-22
Gospel: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24 or Luke 2:41-51
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. (Mt 1:18-21, 24)
What is it that makes a good husband? Is it loyalty? Perhaps it is being very honest and open. Maybe it is being romantic and sweet. Does the ability to kill a spider rank high up on the good husband list? The ability to fix household things has got to be a prerequisite for marriage right? As I read today's gospel, I realize that while all of the qualities that have just been listed might be very good in a marriage, they are certainly not the most important thing. I think that Saint Joseph shows that the most important quality for being a good husband is having a servant's heart.
Saint Joseph found himself in a particularly difficult situation when he found out that Mary was pregnant. Being a righteous man, he sought to divorce her secretly; but God had other plans. When God told Joseph His plan, Joseph didn't put up a fight or even argue, he simply listened to God and was obedient to Him. Joseph took Mary into his home, where he spent the remaining days of his life serving both the Lord and our Blessed Mother.
Having a servants heart means thinking more about others than yourself. Joseph served the Lord with complete and faithful obedience, this is why there is not a single word spoken by him in the bible, there wasn't any need. His actions spoke louder than any words ever could have. Joseph also served his wife faithfully, as he knew his responsibilities was to provide for and protect his family. Joseph wasn't afraid to take on the role of a servant, for he humbled himself and accepted God's calling for his life. Joseph found his true purpose in life by serving God and others.
Taking on a servant's heart isn't just something that husbands should embrace, but rather it is a quality that every man should seek to embrace and cultivate in their lives. The main purpose of each of our lives is to love and be loved; one of the ways in which we can fulfill this calling to love is to serve.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, build in us a servants heart, help form our heart to yours. Lord, help us to humble ourselves as your servant Joseph did. Lord, your will and plan is perfect, help us to let go of our own plans and to give in to the plans that you have for us. We pray for all of our priests, that they may be strengthened in their ministries and in their vows. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.