19 Mar THE POWER OF A FATHER
Homily for March 19, 2016. Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary
Bible Study: 2nd Samuel 7, 4 to 16. Romans 4, 13 to 22 and Matthew 1, 16 to 24.
In God’s plan of salvation for mankind, it was his will that his son Jesus Christ would be born as a man, raised as a man and die as a man that humanity as a whole may be saved. This was a plan that took thousands of years to execute, a plan that even prophets who were lived centuries before Jesus spoke about.
In today’s first reading, we hear the prophet Nathan being instructed by God to tell David: “For when you die, I will raise up one of your descendants, and I will make his kingdom strong…And I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” 2nd Samuel 7, 12 to 13. Though, David himself must have understood this prophecy as referring to his son Solomon, it was actually a prophecy about Jesus Christ. This is because Solomon’s kingdom did not last forever, but the kingdom of Jesus remains forever.
Now, when it was time for God to fulfil the ancient prophecies, he needed to choose earthly parents for his son. And this is where Mary and Joseph come into the picture. Today, we celebrate Joseph who did the impossible by accepting to marry a woman who was already pregnant when he had earlier planned to secretly divorce her.
I was read somewhere that there is nothing as painful as knowing that your spouse is unfaithful. Indeed, even in the Old Testament, the only grounds for divorce was unfaithfulness on the part of the spouse. The essence of marriage is a clear knowledge that both parties are pledged to each other totally and no one else is in the picture. So, it must have been really challenging for Joseph to accept Mary in her condition.
What helped him was FAITH. He believed the words of the Angel that Mary was not some sort of loose woman; that no man had actually touched her, that the baby she was carrying was divine. He believed and did not for a second. His ability to believe even if it might not have made sense to him made him a copy of Abraham who also believed the impossible. And as St. Paul says in the second reading, “No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “reckoned to him as righteousness.” Romans 4, 20 to 22.
As far as Jesus is concerned, St. Joseph is important. Every child needs a father. A father is not necessarily one who donates sperm but one who is there for a child, one who ensures growth, moral, physical and psychological development of the child, one who provides for the child, one who protects, instructs and gives good example. Take away Joseph and Jesus might have just been a wayward child. This is why fathers are powerful and in Joseph, we see a father per excellence.
Let us Pray:
Lord Jesus, may I like Joseph offer myself to you completely in your plan for salvation. Amen.
God bless you. Good morning. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. Happy Weekend.