by Fr. Antonio Elfeghali
Scripture: St. Matthew 1: 18-25
Joseph, the spouse of Mary, lived a life of obscurity and devotion to Jesus. The Maronite Church celebrates his feast on the fifth Sunday of the Season of Announcement and also on March 19.
This Sunday is the Revelation to Joseph Sunday. The truth is revealed to Joseph after doubts concerning his beloved Mary. Joseph was in front of a great Mystery (the Virgin is with child) and a great vocation (to become a father of the Son of the Father in Heaven).
We learn 7 things from Joseph:
1- The Righteous man: Joseph was a righteous man, committed to God's commandments. He had no fear or shame of his commitment. Joseph is an example to every man: Do not be afraid to be a man of prayer, in union with God, surrendered completely to God's Will, avoiding evil and doing good.
2- The pure love: Joseph had a pure & honest love towards Mary. His love was not controlling. He respected her. A controlling love leads to despair, illusion, envy, and in some cases to crime. There are many people in this world who are stuck on the road because of their controlling love. They love the other for selfish reasons.
3- No exposure to the public: Joseph did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace. It was very easy to Joseph to bring his fiance to the priests where she would be condemned to death. When our partner, our wife, our husband, our girlfriend, our boyfriend, our neighbor, our brother, etc… relapses or fails, sometimes we are too quick to judge. We emphasize his/her sin and we make his/her story the discussion of the day. The Church teaches that tale-bearing destroys our neighbor's honor. It is a sin against justice & charity.
4- He planned to dismiss her quietly: Joseph did not surrender to the feeling of being betrayed or to the love of vengeance.
5- The openness & listening to God's revelation: Joseph was opened to God's explanation of what was going on. He listened to what the Angel told him in the dream. With his openness, Joseph understood the Mystery of the Virgin and his Vocation.
6- No suspicions: When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. Love believes everything.
7- Welcoming Mary & Jesus: The Angel said to Joseph, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to your house." Joseph welcomed Mary & Jesus in his house. That's what we can learn from Joseph, to take Mary & Jesus to our hearts, family, life.
A reading from St. Ephrem the Syrian:
Joseph had loved the Son as a child and he served him as a god. He rejoiced in him as he rejoices in the Good One and he feared him as a righteous. How amazing?
Joseph says, "Who gives me this grace that the Son of the almighty be my son. I suspected your mother and planned to dismiss her. I did not know that in her womb was hidden a great treasure that enriched my poverty.
David the King was from my kin and he wore the crown. But I, myself, had been humiliated becoming a carpenter instead of a king. But the crown had been given back to me for I hold the Lord of Lords in my hands.
Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for the Sunday of the Revelation to Joseph
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