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Thursday, 3/19/2021,
The Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From the House of David

First Reading Commentary: 2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16

The LORD said to Nathan, “Go, tell my servant David, ‘When…you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir…I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.’”

The message of this reading is very straight forward. The LORD is saying that Christ, the Son, will be a descendant of David. Why David? Let’s consider three reasons. First, remember that the LORD had promised Abram (Abraham) that he would be a blessing and that the communities of the earth would find blessing in him. This would be because the Son would be a descendant of Abraham.

The second reason is found in the first few words that the LORD spoke, “Go, tell my servant David.” For us, this should be the most important reason. David was not perfect and committed grievous sins. But David was also a servant of the LORD and he was a man of superior faith which he demonstrated in public worship as he gave praise with his dancing and singing.

David’s praise to the LORD was not something that he reserved for the Synagogue. Many of us give praise and we stand up and clap and sing and dance in church but as soon as we leave church, we become different people. We are like chameleons. Not so with David. He gave praise anywhere and at any time because it was in his heart. And that is one of the primary reasons why David, was blessed by the Son being his descendant.

Christ could have been the descendant of anyone in Abrahams’s bloodline and the LORD would have fulfilled His promise to Abraham. This takes us to the third reason, why the LORD chose David. He is another witness to the fact that when we place our faith in God, in spite of our sins, He not only takes care of us—He also rewards us. In other words, David was not punished for his sins but rather, he was rewarded for his faith.

A Righteous Faith

Second Reading Commentary: Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22

Paul reminds us of why the promise was made to Abraham that his descendants would inherit the world. The promise was made because of Abraham’s righteousness which was because of his faith. You could also say that Abraham’s faith made him righteous.

I consider the legacy which God promised Abraham to be the greatest legacy of all time. Even though it was not specifically, mentioned by God when He made His promise to Abraham, the legacy of Abraham includes the coming of Christ.

What kind of legacy are we to have? When we think of the legacy that we might leave behind, we think about worldly things. We think about who will inherit our money and possessions. We think about what people will say about us. We think about those who might remember us. But when we think of our legacy, we do not think about what God has planned for us.

The truth is that each of us has an opportunity to have a legacy as great as Abraham’s. But in, order to realize that opportunity, we have to think outside of the box and forget the world. Our legacy is not of this world. It is in heaven and in, order to achieve its rewards, we must have a righteous faith. This is what Abraham did and that is what St. Paul tells us to do in his letter to the Romans.

A Perfect Father by Faith

Gospel Commentary: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a

During the time of Mary and Joseph, if a woman was betrothed to a man, she became his wife. If she had relations with another man, it was considered adultery and the punishment was death by stoning. Knowing that he did not have relations with Mary, Joseph thought that she had committed adultery so, he intended to divorce her.

But Joseph was a righteous man and wanted to divorce Mary quietly so that no shame would come to her. What this means is that Joseph obeyed the Mosaic laws but wanted no harm to come to Mary because of his love for her. If Joseph divorced Mary publicly and adultery was proven, Mary would have been stoned.

This presented Joseph with a dilemma, but he was unaware of what had happened so God sent an angel to enlighten Joseph. The angel told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary into his home because Mary had conceived through the Holy Spirit. The angel said, “She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

This was in fulfillment of the prophecy that the Lord had given to Isaiah: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 Joseph knew the prophecy and he knew that the meaning of Immanuel—Emmanuel was: God is with us. So, when Joseph awoke, he took Mary into his home.

It was no accident that God chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary. Not only was he from the house of David, but his faith was also absolute. Can you imagine what Joseph might have done if he had no faith in God? He would have dismissed the dream and divorced Mary without any concern for her demise.

Think about that. The suggestion that Joseph may have done this to Mary has an undertone which suggests that most men would have sought some kind of revenge in today’s world. Sadly, that suggestion is all too true and it goes both ways. The family morals values and ethics which drove Joseph are missing or weak with too many men and women in, today’s society.

But Joseph was also filled with all, of the gifts and virtues of the Holy Spirit. Patience did not allow Joseph to make rash decisions. Knowledge and counsel opened Joseph’s mind. Strength, courage and fortitude allowed Joseph to handle the situation without fear. Awe and wonder or fear of the Lord together with his absolute faith drove Joseph to stay with Mary and take her into his home.

These are the qualities that make Joseph the patron saint of fathers. In today’s world with so many broken families, more men should look to Joseph as an example and for encouragement.

Consider this: If you want to see what a perfect family should look like, take a look at the Holy Family. There you will find the perfect mother and the perfect father. When you look at Mary and Joseph, you will find two people with perfect faith. That is why God, the Father, chose Mary and Joseph to be the parents of Jesus—God the Son.

Reading 1          2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16

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.’”

Responsorial Psalm          Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29

R.    (37)  The son of David will live for ever.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness, For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R.    The son of David will live for ever.

“I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: Forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations.”
R.    The son of David will live for ever.

“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him, and my covenant with him stands firm.”
R.    The son of David will live for ever.

Reading 2           Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22

Brothers and sisters: It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world,
but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
For this reason, it depends on faith, so that it may be a gift, and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants, not to those who only adhere to the law but to those who follow the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us, as it is written, I have made you father of many nations.
He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist.
He believed, hoping against hope, that he would become the father of many nations, according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.
That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.

Gospel          Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24A

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now 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.”
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

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Saint of the Day

St. Joseph
Husband of Mary

Patron Saint of: Fathers, Belgium, Canada, Carpenters, China, Church, Death, Happy death, Peru, Russia, Social justice, Travelers, Universal Church, Vietnam and Workers

Nathan reveals God's message to David that his son would be the Father's Son.

God's promise to Abraham was because of Abraham's righteous faith.

Verse Before the Gospel Psalm 84:5

Blessed are those who dwell in your house, O Lord;
they never cease to praise you.

The angel said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home."

St. Joseph is the perfect father and the patron saint of fathers because, he opened himself up completely to the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.

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