Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It was interesting to me that today of all days, we celebrate the solemnity of St. Joseph. I think it is something that can both challenge us, but also give us hope. The challenge is that we see in him a great sense of the virtue of obedience, which is something we are being asked to exercise in this time as well. In our Gospel today, we hear that Joseph took Mary into his home even though he was not sure what he was getting himself into. But in the midst of it, he knew that he could trust in God’s Goodness, and His will for the life of St. Joseph. A few years later, again he is asked to flee into exile into Egypt, not knowing how long he would need to remain there or what it would entail, but again he was obedient to the will of God. We too are being asked, in a sense, to live in exile. We are separated from participating fully in the Mass, so many things around us are closed, and we are not sure when this pandemic will end. It can be a time of fear, of uncertainty, and of frustration. But in the midst of it all, we want to continue to be obedient to God’s desire and will for us in this moment.
But what is His desire? It is always a thirst for our souls; a longing for us to recognize His love and to respond by loving Him in return. His desire is that we continue to give Him more and more of ourselves so that He can lead us deeper into a relationship with Him. So in the midst of the turmoil, the invitation is to go deeper, under the surface of the waves of this storm, and to encounter God deeply in times of silent prayer. This time can become a gift, where so many distractions are taken away and we are able to focus on those things that matter most in life, chief among them being our relationship with God.
As we become more and more docile to the will of God for us each moment, we allow ourselves to be increasingly filled with His power. Through the obedience that St. Joseph lived, he was able to become such a powerful protector and intercessor that one of his titles is the Terror of Demons! Humility, obedience, and docility to God’s will are all things that the demonic hate, because it takes away their power in our lives and allows God to move more freely in our own. As we continue in these days of uncertainty, we can be filled with light and hope when we place all of our fears and worries in the hands of God; trusting that His Providence orders all things and that good can come from this. It is from this position of trust that we allow hope to be born into our hearts.
Let’s ask St. Joseph, our Protector, Guide, and the Terror of Demons to walk especially close with us in these days.