The Promise of All Promises
The first reading today is the great promise of a Messiah. We encounter this reading because today we celebrate Saint Joseph, since his feast day fell on a Sunday, it gets moved to today. This is the promise God gave to the people of God.
I have been listening to the Catechism in a Year Podcast, and just recently was read the paragraph that referenced the absolute power of the promise. It was so great that it needed centuries of preparation. And so it was. And yet, the passage is short, but it is powerful, so here it is again:
The LORD spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. It is he who shall build a house for my name. And I will make his royal throne firm forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.'”
Central to this promise is Saint Joseph. We do not really hear much about Saint Joseph in the gospels, but what we do hear provides us the great depth of his faith, character and personality. He desired to please God. He did not desire to humiliate Mary by subjecting her to public shame before he understood how she conceived a son. He protected his family with all he had.
Saint Joseph reminds us the promise has power. The old, sinful Adam becomes the New Adam, Jesus. The Old, sinful Eve, become the New and sinless Eve, Mary. And as Joseph in the book of Genesis suffered which brought him to greatness in God’s eyes, so too Saint Joseph, whom we celebrate today, through the suffering of caring for Mary and Jesus, is led to greatness because he opened his mind and heart to God.
So, as we celebrate Saint Joseph, let us ask his intercession so that we can be holy as he is holy.
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