Saturday, 19 March 2022 : Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this day we celebrate the great Solemnity of St. Joseph, the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this great St. Joseph’s day, we celebrate this wonderful man of God who had so faithfully dedicated his whole life to God’s service, and who had shown us what it means for us to be disciples and followers of the Lord, by our faith and actions. As the Spouse of Mary, the Mother of God, St. Joseph was also the Foster-Father of the Lord, as although he was not the biological father of the Lord, but he was His legal father, through his marriage to Mary, our Lord’s Mother.

St. Joseph dedicated his life to the Lord and to do His will. He has always lived virtuously and honourably, a model Christian in all things. Although he was just merely a humble carpenter of a small village at the periphery of the Jewish world at that time, St. Joseph was indeed a great man, one whom God had chosen to be the instrument through whom He would enter into the world and perform His works. St. Joseph was also the upright and courageous man who have always shown love for both God and for his fellow men.

St. Joseph whose feast we celebrate today is the great Protector of the Church and all of us Christians just as he is the loyal, committed and faithful Protector of the Holy Family. And we remember all that he had done in caring for the Holy Family, that is first and foremost in how he laboured hard to protect the vulnerable Child Jesus from the hands of His enemies, all those who sought for His death. He protected Jesus and Mary from harm even before Jesus was born, caring for Mary and helping her to find a lodging as she and St. Joseph made their way down to Bethlehem for the census of the Emperor Augustus.

And later on St. Joseph brought Mary and Jesus to Egypt fleeing from the hands of King Herod, who wanted the Child Jesus to be killed, as the former saw the Lord as a threat and rival to his power. St. Joseph followed the word and advice of the Angel of God who told him to bring his family out to Egypt. He cared for them there and brought Mary and Jesus back to Nazareth after the enemies of the Lord had passed on. He was truly a great father and a righteous man, dedicating himself and his life to the mission that has been entrusted to him. He might be just a mere lowly carpenter often looked down by everyone else, but his virtues and greatness far surpassed anything else.

Through St. Joseph, Our Lord Jesus was born legally as the Heir and Son of David, as according to the genealogy that we heard today from the Gospel of St. Matthew, Joseph was the rightful heir of David, born of his line and house, and therefore, just as the Lord promised to David that his rule, house and kingdom would be forever firm, these all were fulfilled in Christ. Through Jesus Christ, God has come into this world, to reign as our King, claiming the Kingship of His forefather David, and reestablish the true Kingdom of God in this world.

But as I have mentioned just earlier, we celebrate the glorious memory of St. Joseph more than just because he was the foster-father of Our Lord and Saviour. It was because of his great virtues and righteousness that we rejoice to have such a great role model and inspiration in our own lives. St. Joseph is that great example whom we can follow in our own lives, as we look upon him as our guide in our own journey of faith through life towards God. We are constantly reminded that we too have to be righteous, good and committed in our lives, walking with God and helping to guide one another in faith towards Him.

That is why, in this season of Lent, all of us are called to look upon the good examples set by St. Joseph and we are called to emulate him in our own lives, reminding ourselves to be more righteous and just, more committed to follow the Lord by following the examples of St. Joseph, who laboured hard in life with honesty and justice, not minding his own personal desires, ambition, ego or greed. He placed God above all else and the mission that He has entrusted to him, he has carried out with patience and virtue all the same.

All of us must remember that as Christians we have to exhibit these virtues in life, in our every moments and actions, in whatever we say and do. Let us really make good use of the time and opportunity afforded to us this Lent for us to rediscover our faith in God, reconnect our lives to Him, reorientate our ways, thoughts and all the things we say and do, that all those may come harmoniously along with God and His path. Let us all do our very best and come ever closer to God and His salvation, that we may be filled with His grace and love, at all times.

May God be with us all, and may He empower each and every one of us that we may always walk faithfully in His presence, and may He bless all of our actions and works, and may St. Joseph, the Protector of the Holy Family and the Protector of the Church, intercede for us always, and help us through his inspirations and his prayers, that we may always walk courageously as he himself had done, in the path of his foster Son, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. St. Joseph, holy saint of God, pray for us! Amen.

Saturday, 19 March 2022 : Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 1 : 16, 18-21, 24a

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and from her came Jesus Who is called the Christ – the Messiah.

This is how Jesus Christ was born : Mary His mother had been given to Joseph in marriage, but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her.

While he was pondering over this, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a Son. You shall call Him ‘Jesus’ for He will save His people from their sins.”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the Angel of the Lord had told him to do.

Alternative reading

Luke 2 : 41-51a

Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, as was customary. And when Jesus was twelve years old, He went up with them, according to the custom of this feast. After the festival was over, they returned, but the Boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know it.

They thought He was in the company, and after walking the whole day they looked for Him among their relatives and friends. As they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem searching for Him, and on the third day they found Him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. And all the people were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

His parents were very surprised when they saw Him, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I were very worried while searching for You.” Then 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 this answer.

Jesus went down with them, returning to Nazareth, and He continued to be subject to them.

Saturday, 19 March 2022 : Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Romans 4 : 13, 16-18, 22

If God promised Abraham, or rather his descendants, that the world would belong to him, this was not because of his obeying the Law, but because he was just and a friend of God through faith.

For that reason, faith is the way and all is given by grace; and the promises of Abraham are fulfilled for all his descendants, not only for his children according to the Law, but also for all the others who have believed.

Abraham is the father of all of us, as it is written : I will make you father of many nations. He is our father in the eyes of Him Who gives life to the dead, and calls into existence what does not yet exist, for this is the God in Whom he believed. Abraham believed and hoped against all expectation, thus becoming father of many nations, as he had been told : See how many will be your descendants.

This was taken into account for him to attain righteousness.

Saturday, 19 March 2022 : Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 88 : 2-3, 4-5, 27 and 29

I will sing forever, o Lord, of Your love and proclaim Your faithfulness from age to age. I will declare how steadfast is Your love, how firm Your faithfulness.

You said, “I have made a covenant with David, My chosen one; I have made a pledge to My servant. I establish his descendants forever; I build his throne for all generations.”

“He will call on Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, my Rock, my Saviour.’ I will keep My covenant firm forever, and My love for him will endure.

Saturday, 19 March 2022 : Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

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

But that very night, YHVH’s word came to Nathan, “Go and tell My servant David, this is what YHVH says : When the time comes for you to rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your son after you, the one born of you and I will make his reign secure. He shall build a house for My Name and I will firmly establish his kingship forever. I will be a Father to him and he shall be My son.”

“Your house and your reign shall last forever before Me, and your throne shall be forever firm.”