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A Gospel according to Matthew 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."

REFLECTION: "The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream"

What is in everybody's mind today? Coronavirus!! What are we going to do? Do we really have to shelter in place? Promote social distancing? Are the markets crashing? Will I still have a job at the end of the day?

There is a mixture of calmness mixed with panic that I doubt anybody has experienced before.

In today's Gospel we read how St. Joseph found out about Mary's pregnancy. And thinking what to do about it; how to divorce her "quietly", as not to harm her.

Even though it was a big deal, he didn't allow this discovery to alarm or depress him. We read that he even went to bed. And in his dream he heard the Angel's message. He went ahead and lovingly took care of the Virgin Mary and her child.

We wish we could be "out there" and "do something". Instead we are asked to slow down and stay inside. This is specially hard on young people, full of energy. They would like to immediately change the world.

Let us learn from St. Joseph's example of resting when needing. Of putting our trust in God and not let worry and restlessness take over us.

Today, all the Churches in the United States have not offered a public Mass. Even though this feels like Good Friday/Holy Saturday, instead of binge-streaming shows, let us take the free time we now have to bond with our families, learn more about our faith, and pray as a family as well.

We can practice the Spiritual Works of Mercy, specially "Pray for the Living and the Dead". We can offer our prayers for the first responders, doctors, nurses, police, but specially for our spiritual first responders and doctors: our priests.

Please offer at least the PAPA Prayer for them once today. Say a prayer for them while you are washing your hands. Pray to St. Joseph for their protection today and always.

Pray today the Litany of St. Joseph for the protection of our families, doctors, priests, President and governors.

St. Joseph, Pray for us.


PAPA Foundation
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