St. Joseph’s faith and obedience

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas - The Freeman

Do you remember when Pope Francis publicly shared that he has a picture of a sleeping St. Joseph on his desk?

It was not until the March 19th sermon of Fr. Nilo who celebrates the daily 5:30 morning mass for Kapamilya Channel that I realized the significance of Pope Francis’ fondness for the sleeping St. Joseph.

March 19 is the Feast of St. Joseph’s Solemnity. We know him as the carpenter, the worker who did “as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took (Mama Mary) his wife into his home.”

Let us try to know St. Joseph better this Lenten season.

In Matthew 1:16-24, Joseph is introduced first as the son of Jacob and next, as the husband of Mary. “Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.”

Then we learn that it was not an easy decision for Joseph to take Mary into his home as she was found to be with child before they lived together.

Joseph is next described as a righteous man who “unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.”

Then, while sleeping, he had a dream where the angel of the Lord 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. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

The next verse reveals the beautiful message of the unforgettable character of

St. Joseph. “When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.”

Recall that before his sleep, before his dream, he had already planned what to do with the pregnant Mary --to divorce her quietly. During his sleep, in his dream, an angel told him to be unafraid and take Mary as wife into his home. Upon waking up, Joseph could have chosen to dismiss or not follow the dream.

However, in his shining moment, Joseph made his choice!

Joseph chose to follow and obey God’s will relayed by the angel! By doing so, he is forever honored as the father of Jesus Christ because he willingly chose to be God’s servant, follow and obey his will!

These are often the meaningful recurring theme in God’s plan for us all: choice, faith, and, obedience.

Starting with Abraham who chose go in full faith and obey God’s will, to Jesus who willingly chose to follow his Father’s will, we are reminded during the March 19th solemnity that Joseph, in full faith, chose to follow and obey God’s will revealed by an angel to a sleeping Joseph!

See now the connection of the sleeping St. Joseph in Pope Francis’ desk?

To the crowd that gathered at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Pope Francis was quoted to have shared this:

“I really like St. Joseph, because he is a strong and silent man. On my desk I have a picture of St. Joseph sleeping. And while he’s sleeping, he takes care of the Church! He can do it, we know that. And when I have a problem, a difficulty, I write a piece of paper and put it under St. Joseph, because he dreams about it!”

Pope Francis also offered this encouraging advice:

"Do not lose hope. Saint Joseph also experienced moments of difficulty, but he never lost faith and was able to overcome them in the certainty that God never abandons us.”

St Joseph’s legacy: God will forever be with us if we have faith and choose to accept and obey his will.

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