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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

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St. Joseph

2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24 or

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"father-forever" (see is 9:5)

"I will be a Father to Him, and He shall be a Son to Me." —2 Samuel 7:14

Both the title of this teaching and the above Scripture refer to the Lord and not to St. Joseph. However, both are aptly applied to Joseph. Joseph's entire identity derived from his unique relationship to Jesus as the foster-father of the Son of God.

Most men find their identity in their own prowess rather than from their subordinate relationship to another person. Yet Joseph is identified in Scripture as "the husband of Mary" (Mt 1:16), perhaps the only man in the entire Bible identified this way. On the surface, it might seem from this description that Joseph was a second-class man. But Joseph took his identity from his relationship with Jesus, and Mary was undeniably the mother of Jesus. Joseph was linked to Jesus through Mary; hence, he is described as Mary's husband to spotlight his unique relationship to Jesus.

I'm certain that St. Joseph is rejoicing in heaven whenever people refer to him because of his link to Jesus rather than for his own sake. Joseph found the meaning to life when Jesus entered his world (see Phil 1:21). With great faith (Rm 4:16), Joseph subordinated his life to Jesus, serving Him with love. In giving up his life for Jesus, Joseph found out who he was (Mt 10:39).

With Joseph, let us live no longer for ourselves, but for Jesus (2 Cor 5:15). Live by faith in Jesus (Gal 2:20).

Prayer:  Jesus, immerse me in You, surround me with You, consume me in Your love (Heb 12:29).

Promise:  "All depends on faith, everything is grace." —Rm 4:16

Praise:  St. Joseph "did as the angel of the Lord had directed him" (Mt 1:24).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002