Friday, March 19, 2010

St. Joseph a model for men

This is an excerpt from my homily, delivered on the Feast of the Holy Family in 2008.

"When we consider the Holy Family it is easy to become sentimental. In recent years, however, we have recovered the human context of the Incarnation from the perspective of Mary, an event that made her, for a time, an unmarried, pregnant teenager. But in order to see the bigger picture, we need to recover the perspective of St. Joseph, too. He was betrothed to a young woman, with whom he had not had relations, but who turns up pregnant before coming to live with him. Despite this, he did not abandon her, but accepted the will of God, which, even though made known to him by an angel, must have remained incomprehensible and difficult for him, especially in the months leading up to the birth of the divinely conceived child. It is the kind of manliness exemplified by St. Joseph that we desperately need today.

St. Joseph the Carpenter by artist John Collier, a deep diaconal bow to Deacon Greg Kandra for bringing this lovely painting to my attention

"After all, the collapse of the family falls disproportionately on women and children, crushing many. The need for this kind of responsibility is reflected in the divine command to ancient Israel to care for the widow and the orphan, something for which they were frequently chastised by God through the prophets for failing to do. The crisis of fatherhood today, which results in the grave sin of men failing and refusing to provide materially, emotionally, and developmentally for their children, stems from our rejection of the family as an institution ordained by God through nature and grace."

St Joseph, pray for us.

2 comments:

  1. Simply beautiful!
    Fran here in her work identity.

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  2. Thanks, Fran. It was quite a grace that I remembered this today.

    ReplyDelete