The Readings for this day March 19th direct our attention to the fulfillment of God’s promise through Mary and Joseph.
“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.” (MT 1:18-19)
I always think of St. Joseph as a quiet and patient man. Do you know any man today with these qualities? My Dad was very quiet and patient. I watched him practice this quiet patience in a simple way.
When I was a little girl my Dad would allow me to go fishing with him. Or maybe I should say he would take me rowing. Rowing because that was my job. I rowed while my Dad fished. There were a few rules my Dad would gently remind me about fishing. Be as quiet as you could be, no talking, and no unnecessary movements. Why? He would explain because the fish can hear and sense vibrations.
Have you had to be still and silent for many hours? Every sense in your body is super aware of everything surrounding you. I had to forget myself totally. As I gently rowed the boat and watched my Dad quietly cast his lure here and there working it methodically through the water, I took in all of the sounds, smells, and sights of the pond where we were fishing. I like my Dad were alive by being alert, aware and attuned to God’s creation around us.
I watched my Dad patiently fish. His patience paid off with a splash and the sounds of the line squealing off the reel as a fish fought against the hook in its mouth. Delighted, he brought the fish into the boat. Now, we had fresh fish for supper tonight!
Were St. Joseph’s words recorded in the Scriptures? I recall only his actions. His waiting and his reactions to the messages he received in dreams to protect Jesus and Mary. I believe his silence and patience kept his precious young family, Jesus and Mary, alive by being alert, aware, attentive, and attuned to God.
Let us all practice St. Joseph’s profound example. Silently and patiently listen and watch for the Holy Spirit to guide us through this Lenten season. Veni Sancte Spiritus.