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Thought of the day
Monday, March 20, 2017

Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary

Saint John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005 Redemptoris Custos, §4-5 (©Libreria editrice vaticana) "When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him"

Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary

Commentary of the day 

Saint John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005 Redemptoris Custos, §4-5 (©Libreria editrice vaticana)

"When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him"

Now at the beginning of this pilgrimage, the faith of Mary meets the faith of Joseph. If Elizabeth said of the Redeemer's Mother, "Blessed is she who believed," (Lk 1,45), in a certain sense this blessedness can be referred to Joseph as well, since he responded positively to the word of God when it was communicated to him at the decisive moment. While it is true that Joseph did not respond to the angel's "announcement" in the same way as Mary, he "did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife." What he did is the clearest "obedience of faith" (cf. Rom 1:5). 

One can say that what Joseph did united him in an altogether special way to the faith of Mary. He accepted as truth coming from God the very thing that she had already accepted at the Annunciation. The Second Vatican Council teaches: "'The obedience of faith' must be given to God as he reveals himself. By this obedience of faith man freely commits himself entirely to God, making 'the full submission of his intellect and will to God who reveals,' and willingly assenting to the revelation given by him,"(Dei Verbum, 5). This statement, which touches the very essence of faith, is perfectly applicable to Joseph of Nazareth. 

Therefore he became a unique guardian of the mystery "hidden for ages in God" (Eph 3,9), as did Mary, in that decisive moment which St. Paul calls "the fullness of time," when "God sent forth his Son, born of woman...to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons" (Gal 4,4-5)…Together with Mary, Joseph is the first guardian of this divine mystery… Looking at the gospel texts of both Matthew and Luke, one can also say that Joseph is the first to share in the faith of the Mother of God and that in doing so he supports his spouse in the faith of the divine annunciation. He is also the first to be placed by God on the path of Mary's "pilgrimage of faith."… The path that was Joseph's-his pilgrimage of faith - ended first;… nevertheless, Joseph's way of faith moved in the same direction.

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