BY: Fr. Mike Lagrimas


HOMILY: Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of Mary
Lk 2:41‐51

Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.

St. Joseph is the Patron of the Universal Church. This supreme honor is mainly based on his role being the Husband of Mary. Of all men in the world, God has chosen Joseph to take care of His Beloved Son, Jesus, and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

He is not a man of extraordinary qualities and character. The Gospel simply says, he is a “just man”. But this quality, no matter how ordinary it may sound to some, is actually profound in significance. Being “just” is another word for being “holy”. And his holiness comes from several characteristics.

First, his profound humility. When the angel revealed to him in a dream that Mary is with child, he wanted to leave her. This thought of leaving Mary is not due to cowardice or being irresponsible as many would think. Rather, it is out of humility, and the genuine feeling of true unworthiness to be part of this grand divine plan of salvation. His spirit of humility has been adequately illustrated throughout his life.

Second, as natural consequence of his humility is his prompt and unconditional obedience to God’s plan. He is referred to as ‘Joseph the Dreamer’ for it is through dreams that he received God’s instructions which he readily followed without hesitation or an iota of doubt in his mind.

Third, he was a man of action. His fidelity and obedience to God were not in words but in action. Not a word was recorded in Scriptures that is attributed to him. One may even think he was mute, but he was not. He consistently puts himself in silence in order to be fully disposed to prayer and listen to the promptings of the Spirit. He was truly a man of prayer and action, not of words.
These characteristics are what made St. Joseph a “just man”, a holy man, indeed. Hence, God entrusted to him His greatest Treasures: Jesus and Mary. Truly, simple and humble people are God’s best instruments of His Kingdom.

St. Joseph reminds us of the Patriarch Joseph in the Old Testament, one of the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel). Out of envy, he was sold by his brothers to Egypt as a slave. But by God’s providence, he ended up being the most trusted official of the Pharaoh. When the great famine occurred, and people, including the Israelites, came to Egypt asking for food and supplies, the Pharaoh invariably instructed them: Go to Joseph!

Fr. George Boronat of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, gives this beautiful exhortation:
“If you want to find Jesus, go to Joseph – he found Him after three sorrowful days.
If you want to love Jesus, go to Joseph – he loves Him madly.
If you want to love Mary, go to Joseph – no man has ever loved his wife like him.
If you want to be always close to Jesus and Mary, go to Joseph –
no one has ever been closer to them.
If you want to pray, go to Joseph – he spent his life in dialogue with God.
If you go through difficulties, go to Joseph – he knows all about suffering.
If you want to be strong, he is the saint to go to.
If you want to be obedient, chaste, generous, humble, joyful, sincere…
if you want to be holy: Ite ad Joseph! Go to Joseph.”

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches




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