Monday, 20 March 2017 : Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the great solemnity and feast of St. Joseph, the Foster-father of our Lord Jesus Christ by the virtue of his marriage to Mary, the mother of God. While it was through both Joseph and Mary that the Lord Jesus was born into the family of the descendants of Israel and Abraham, it was through St. Joseph that the Lord was the rightful heir of David, the great king of Israel.

In the genealogy of Jesus, it was mentioned His descent from Adam and Abraham, as well as the descent from David through the line of the kings of Israel and Judah, and down to the ancestors of our Lord to the time when the Lord deemed it right for His glorious Saviour Jesus to enter into the world, at the end of the genealogy mentioned, as the perfect fulfilment of God’s promise to all of His people throughout the ages. God is indeed forever faithful.

When mankind first fell into sin at the time of Adam and his wife, Eve, God promised to mankind that He will save them from the evils of Satan, the great enemy who had tempted and deceived our ancestors to sin against God. He promised a deliverance that was to come through the sons of man, through the Woman who would bear the salvation for the whole world. All these were fulfilled through Mary, who bore Jesus the Son of Man and Son of God, Saviour of all mankind.

But God did not stop there, and He renewed His promises made to our forefathers, beginning from Abraham, the father of many nations, with whom God first made a Covenant with His people. God promised Abraham and called him to follow Him, that He will bless him because of his great faith and obedience to His ways and His laws.

God kept His word and gave the son which He had promised Abraham, through whom He became the father of many nations and peoples, many tribes and groups, and eventually, the Lord also fulfilled His promise to Abraham, that the glory of his name will remain forever, for among his descendants, the Lord and Master of the Universe Himself is counted among them.

And to David, the descendant of Abraham and Israel, God had given the kingship over Israel as He had promised to him, because of his great faith and obedience to God, over that of Saul, who was the first king of Israel but who was disobedient and committed grave sins against God. God promised David that his descendants will remain on the throne of Israel forever, and his kingdom will be forever firm.

It might seem that God did not fulfil this promise when the kingdom of Israel was torn apart into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, and when the line of the kings ended in Judah as the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and ended the southern kingdom of Judah. However, in reality, God fulfilled the promise He had made yet again with the coming of Christ, Who is the Heir of David through St. Joseph, and He reestablished the kingdom which God had given to David, and this time, His kingdom will never end.

Through Jesus God had fulfilled the promises He had made to all mankind, in the past, present and in the future to come. Through St. Joseph, God had made Himself to be the Heir to all that God had promised to all of our forefathers, from the time of Adam, to Abraham, to David, and ultimately to all of us. God is always faithful, and He did not abandon us to our sins and to our destruction.

And St. Joseph as the foster-father of our Lord Jesus, besides giving Him the means to be the Heir of David and Abraham, he was also very crucial for our Lord especially in the early years of His life on earth. For it was St. Joseph, in the Gospels we read, who protected Him from all those who was looking for His death, from Herod the Great who wanted Jesus dead as He was a rival to his own kingship, and all other dangers and difficulties.

St. Joseph was a hardworking and patient man, a righteous and just person, who obeyed the Lord and His precepts, who was a role model and an exemplary father to Jesus our Lord, Who in His humanity was born a fragile baby in Bethlehem, Who needed to learn the tools and trade, the ways of this world. And St. Joseph, together with Mary, His mother certainly provided all that the young Jesus needed.

In the person of St. Joseph, we can see the qualities of the faithful people of God in the past, namely Abraham, whose faith in God was so great, that he placed his complete trust in Him. St. Joseph trusted in God in His plans, even though Mary, when she was still just betrothed to him, conceived a Child without any intercourse with him. But he placed his full trust in God, and carried out his obligations as a father just as much as if Jesus is his own biological son.

St. Joseph is the head of the Holy Family, of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. He did his duties as a loving and faithful father, filled with love, care and concern for Jesus and Mary, even though these two persona often surpassed him in renown and he was often eclipsed by their importance. He committed himself to the care of the young Jesus, equipping Him with what He needed in life, and thus He grew well and blessed by God, ready for His mission.

The commitment which St. Joseph gave to his mission made him a great model for all of us Christians throughout the world, and just as he watched closely over the young Jesus, he still indeed continues to watch over the whole Church that Jesus had established in this world, as the great patron saint and protector of the whole Universal Church, a title and role that the Church itself had officially recognised as belonging to the great patron saint, St. Joseph, whose feast and honour we remember today.

Let us all reflect on all the good deeds St. Joseph had done, and how the Lord has also loved us all and how He has been faithful to all of His promises throughout the ages, all being fulfilled through Christ His Messiah, through Whom all of us have received the promise of everlasting life by our faith in Him. In this time of preparation, during this season of Lent, let us redouble our efforts to live faithfully as St. Joseph had been faithful, be more charitable and loving to our brethren, particularly those who are in need.

Let us show love to our fellow brethren, and let us turn our backs to our sinful past, and instead embrace a new future blessed by God. Let us all also ask for the intercession of St. Joseph, that he will pray for our sake, for the Church that his foster Son Jesus had established in this world, that God will continue to protect it and bless all of its works. May God bless us all and His Church. Amen.

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