Gospel Reflections

Feast of St Joseph

Luke 2:41-51

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Elizabeth Smoyer

Published: March 19, 2016

Read Luke 2:41-51

Each year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival,... Read More…


What aspects of God’s Goodness does Joseph mirror?
What questions of our time does the pattern of his life help us to live in love?

Things unplanned and unwelcomed happened to Joseph.
He faced dilemmas not of his making.
He didn’t follow the law
and have Mary stoned when she became pregnant.
He planned to “divorce her quietly.”

Resisting the punishment afforded by the law
and being unwilling to expose Mary to shame
was not enough.

Joseph allowed his dreams
And their flow of compassionate love
to guide his decision making.
He listened
to the message of God’s angel.
Joseph let go of fear and
did as the dream messenger commanded
welcoming Mary and the child
into his home and
into his heart.

That embrace of Mary
And the child she delivered:
Emmanuel, God with us,
unfolded into another conflict.
After the Wise Seekers left,
another dream showed itself.
The command was
Flee! Into Egypt!

After the massacre of the innocents
another messenger in his dream:
“Go to the land of Israel.
Those who sought the child’s life are dead.”

Fear still stalked him.
Was home really safe?
Warned in still another dream
Joseph listened.
So the three went to Galilee, to Nazareth.
What relationships present us with conflict?
What forces lie beyond our control
and fold us in half with fear, anger and exile?
Across our wounded planet
wounded people flee,
internally exiled in their home place
or clamor at our political and
Edge-of-our-heart borders.

It’s just too much.
There’s nothing we can do.

Joseph reminds us:
God is with us
in the doubt, fear and complexity.
Our dreams reveal
a next best step.
Our inner life flows in
goodness.
We are called to listen
again
within the silence
and the depth of our hearts.

With the dynamism of
open mind, welcoming heart and listening ear
we can look fear and paralysis directly in the eye
And choose to act in trust
over and over again,
together.

Will I? Will we?

 

 

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