Fr. Mike’s Homily for Saturday of the 3rd Week of Advent

Fr. Mike’s Homily for Saturday of the 3rd Week of Advent
Theme: The annunciation to joseph
By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches
Homily for Saturday December 18 2021
Simbang Gabi – Day 03
December 18, 2021
Mt 1:18–25
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.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’ ” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
The Angel Gabriel was sent by God to announce the message about the Incarnation of the Son of God. This happened on two occasions: first, to Mary, and second, to Joseph. After Mary agreed to God’s plan to become the Mother of Jesus, the angel also appeared to Joseph in a dream. The Gospel today is about the annunciation to Joseph.
It is important that Joseph agrees to this divine plan because, as prophesied in Scriptures, the awaited Messiah will be called ‘Son of David’. This means that He is to be born in the royal lineage of David. As shown clearly in the Gospel yesterday, Joseph belongs to the line of David.
Secondly, Joseph has to accept Mary as his wife to keep her safe and secure. The Mosaic Law stipulates that an unmarried woman who gets pregnant will be stoned to death as punishment. That is why when Joseph learned about the pregnancy of Mary, he “decided to divorce her quietly” in order not “to expose her to shame.” ‘Exposing to shame’ simply means making the issue publicly known, and, therefore, be subject to this cruel death penalty. The revelation of the angel led Joseph to change his mind and decide to proceed with the marriage.
Thirdly, Joseph is the best choice for Mary’s husband and foster father of Jesus for he is a “righteous man” – humble, devout, hardworking and completely faithful and obedient to God. He may be a simple man, but he must be very special for he was particularly chosen by God for this very important role, entrusting to his protection and care His only Son, Jesus and His mother.
According to St. Lawrence of Brandisi, a Doctor of the Church in the 16th century, “St. Joseph is clearly the holiest of all the saints, holier than the patriarchs, than the prophets, than the apostles, than all the other saints.” Thus, “with exception of our loving Mother,” St. Maximilian Kolbe concludes, “St. Joseph stands above all the saints.”
In his Apostolic Letter entitled “Patris Corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”) on the occasion of the special Year of St. Joseph last year, Pope Francis describes him as a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.
The Holy Father urges the faithful to follow the example of Saint Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,” who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.” He acknowledged and praised the “ordinary” people as the new ‘Josephs’ of our present time, especially in this time of the pandemic, who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day.
On this third day of the ‘Simbang Gabi’, the liturgy reminds us of the timeless scriptural exhortation, “Ite ad Joseph!” – “Go to Joseph!” During these times of crisis and uncertainty, let us be assured of the fatherly protection and intervention of St. Joseph.
This is explained beautifully by St. Teresa of Avila: ʺTo other Saints Our Lord seems to have given power to succor us in some special necessity ‐ but to this glorious Saint He has given the power to help us in all. As He was subject to St. Joseph on earth ‐ for St. Joseph, bearing the title of father and being His guardian, could command Him ‐ so now in Heaven Our Lord grants all his petitions.ʺ
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches


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