YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK OF LENT
HOMILY THEME: LENT: DAY 19; FAST FROM IRRESPONSIBILITY, EMBRACE JOSEPH’S COMMITMENT
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: SOLEMNITY OF ST JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF B.V.M
READINGS: 1SAMUEL 7:4-5a.12-14a, PSALM 89, ROMANS 4:13.16-18.22, MATTHEW 1:16.18-21
St. Thomas Aquinas affirmed that at the time of the Annunciation by the angel Gabriel, young Mary and Joseph were merely affianced. He was careful never to thwart God’s plan in the person of Mary; indeed, he was a noble and dignified man. In fact, on the saintly radar of the Catholic Church, Joseph ranks second only to the Mother of God.
The Church in her wisdom having considered the guiding role played by Joseph; how he nurtured (in all human ways possible), the saviour of the world and author of our Faith, on 8 December, 1870, proclaimed Joseph the Patron Saint of the Universal Church. The Church further teaches in the words of Pius IX that St. Joseph has been designated by God as master of his goods and of his household. In 1955, Pius XII promulgated that Joseph is the Patron of workmen and the feast has since been celebrated on 1st May. That’s not all; the Church further urges her faithful to invoke Joseph for a happy death and in all their difficulties, for he is a ‘True Father’. In line with this, Thomas Aquinas said; “Some Saints are privileged to extend to us their patronage with particular efficacy in certain needs, but not in others; but our holy Patron St. Joseph has the power to assist us in all cases, in every necessity, in every undertaking.”
Brethren, it is true that Joseph ranked least in the Holy Family, however, he maintained a great faith and a great fatherly spirit and today he comes to us a man who heard God’s words and never questioned (like Mary did Lk.1:34). He was silently docile to the will of God and thus became as it were, the first witness of the Divine Mystery. He contributed greatly to the instantiation of God’s lasting kingdom as promised to David (2Sam.7:16). He allowed his will to be overtaken by God’s hence he lived not for himself but for God and for the actualization of his divine reign promised long ago in Exodus 15:23, Judges 8:23, Ezra 20:33, etc. that ‘The Lord must rule over his people forever’
What is our response to God like? Do we question his decisions in our life? How selfless and dedicated are we to his service? Do we insist on our wills as against that of God? Joseph has become our model and guide today; as we implore his help may we equally imbibe his way of life. The man we celebrate today is a model husband, a model father, a model guardian, a selfless and just man; a model of unswerving loyalty to God. Indeed we celebrate a hero faith and total obedience to God’s call, inconveniencing or not. We may be sagacious enough to imitate this great man of God even as we pursue heaven. Amen.
FEED AND EDUCATE ONE POOR…