A Reading for today

Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary

Mt 1:16.18-21.24a.

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold, 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.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.


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Reflection

"When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him"

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622), Bishop of Geneva and Doctor of the Church

Conferences, no. 20 (modernized)

How faithful in humility was the great saint we are celebrating! That can't be said in all its perfection for, in spite of what he was, in what poverty and lowliness he lived all the days of his life: a poverty and lowliness beneath which he kept hidden and concealed his great virtues and dignity!... Truly, I have no doubt at all that the angels came, beside themselves with admiration, rank upon rank, to behold and wonder at his humility, while he sheltered that dearest child in the poor workshop where he worked at his employment so as to feed the little boy and the mother entrusted to him. There is no doubt at all that Saint Joseph was braver than David and wiser that Solomon [who were his ancestors]. Nevertheless, seeing him reduced to the exercise of carpentry, who could have discerned this unless they were enlightened by a heavenly light, so hidden did he keep the remarkable gifts with which God had favored him? And what wisdom did he not have? For God gave him his most glorious Son to care for..., the universal Prince of heaven and earth... Nevertheless, you can see how low and humbled he was brought, more than can be said or imagined...: he went to his own country and town of Bethlehem and none but he was turned away from all those inns... Notice how the angel turns him about with both hands. He tells him he has to go to Egypt and he goes; he orders him to return and he returns. God wants him to be always poor... and he submits to it with love, and not only for a while for he was poor his whole life long.

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