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.

Monday, 20 March 2017 : 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.

Monday, 20 March 2017 : 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.

Monday, 20 March 2017 : 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.

Monday, 20 March 2017 : 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.”

Friday, 18 December 2015 : 3rd Week of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 1 : 18-24

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.”

All this happened in order to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet : The Virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and He will be called Emmanuel, which means God-with-us. When Joseph woke up, he did what the Angel of the Lord had told him to do, and he took his wife to his home.

Monday, 15 September 2014 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 19 : 25-27

Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the mother, and the disciple whom He loved, He said to the mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “There is your mother.”

And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.

Alternative reading

Luke 2 : 33-35

Jesus’ father and mother wondered at what was said about the Child.

Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, His mother, “Know this : your Son is a sign, a sign established for the falling and rising of many in Israel, a sign of contradiction; and a sword will pierce your own soul, so that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”