40 Shades of Lent, Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, 19 March 2020
2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16 +++ Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22 +++ Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24
Praise and thanksgiving to you, O God our loving Father in giving us your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior. In sending him to us, you have asked St. Joseph to be not afraid to be the husband of the Blessed Mother of Jesus, Mary Most Holy.
…the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.Matthew 1:20-21, 24
We pray today on this Solemnity of St. Joseph that we may also not be afraid in fighting this pandemic COVID-19.
Let us be not afraid to stay home to be with our family again, together and longer.
Let us be not afraid to talk and converse really as husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters. Help us to be more open and more silent like St. Joseph to hear our family members’ innermost thoughts and feelings again with love and understanding.
Let us be not afraid, O Lord, to seek and work for real peace in our family now disintegrating as we disregard each other, choosing fame and wealth than persons.
Let us be not afraid to reach out also to those living alone like the sick, the elderly, the separated, those abandoned by family and friends or society, those widowed.
Let us be not afraid to share food and money to the needy, time and talent, joy and hope to those living in the margins.
Let us be not afraid to ask for forgiveness, to say again those beautiful words “I am sorry” to those we have hurt in words and in deeds; likewise, let us be not afraid to say also those comforting words “I forgive you” to those who have hurt us in words and in deeds.
Let us not be afraid to show respect anew to our elders. Forgive us, O God, in making disrespect a way of life in our time, in our society, in our government and right in our homes and family as we disregard the dignity of one another.
Let us not be afraid to pray again, to kneel before you, and humbly come to you as repentant sinners, merciful Father.
Let us be not afraid to bring Jesus your Son into this world with your love and kindness, sympathy and empathy so we may be healed of so many brokenness and pains deep within.
Let us not be afraid to be humans again and realize we are not gods, that we cannot control everyone and everything in this world.
Let us be not afraid to be open to you and to others, especially the weak and needy because the truth is, we need you O God and one another.
Please, like St. Joseph, let us not be afraid to wake up to the realities of this life to follow you always in your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
O blessed St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, pray for us!