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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

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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

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

In our highly secularized society and churches, our faith is weak. Many Christians doubt the truth of the Bible, Jesus' institution the Church, Jesus' "real presence" in the Eucharist, and even the objectivity of moral standards. In this secularized condition, we desperately need faith and examples of faith. We need St. Joseph, the man of faith.

Joseph made some of the greatest acts of faith in history. He believed that his fiance, Mary, was with child by the power of the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:20-24). Joseph had such faith that he obeyed the Lord's command to take Jesus and Mary and flee to Egypt (Mt 2:13-14). We need the faith of Joseph.

"All depends on faith" (Rm 4:16), yet faith can be rare (see Lk 18:8). The necessity and rarity of faith make it even more important to have all the help we can get to grow in faith. Faith in Jesus is a result of a good, personal relationship with Him. "Faith is confident assurance" (Heb 11:1). It "comes through hearing" (Rm 10:17), as is normally the case with any aspects of a personal relationship. For example, as we hear another person better, we deepen our relationship with this person and develop a confident assurance in their presence. Joseph, having been called to be Jesus' foster-father, heard Jesus' first words. Joseph not only heard Jesus' first words, but many of His words for years. Thereby, Joseph developed a faith that was even greater than he had before Jesus' conception.

Joseph heard Jesus in a unique way. He had great faith. He is willing to share his faith with us. Ask Joseph to pray for you.

Prayer:  Father, may I see the full significance of Your calling of Joseph to be Jesus' foster-father.

Promise:  "Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before Me; your throne shall stand firm forever." —2 Sm 7:16

Praise:  St. Joseph protected Jesus from an assassination attempt.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013

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