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By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Mar 19, 2009)
Readings: 2 Sam 7:4-5, 12-14, 16; Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22; Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24 or Lk 2:41-51
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah. Mt 1:16
"Man makes his plans, and God laughs," says a Yiddish proverb.
David thinks he has a great plan. Why should he be living in a house of cedar while the ark of God is only in a tent (2 Sam 7:2)?
He proposes to build a house (a temple) for the Lord. But God has a surprise twist in His plan for David. Instead of telling David to start building, the Lord promises David a house for him. The house that God promises is David's royal dynasty — one that will lead to the Messiah.
Abraham had received a similarly surprising promise about his descendants. Even in Abraham's advanced age, "he believed, hoping against hope, that he would become 'the father of many nations' " (Rom 5:18).
Saint Joseph is a descendant of these two who had received God's promises of salvation. And Saint Joseph also became part of God's plan through a surprise twist. Saint Joseph, whose feast we celebrate today, receives two angelic visions telling him to accept as his wife an already pregnant woman and, later, to move his family to safety in another country. Joseph trusts the Lord, as shown by his quick and quiet obedience.
Surprise twists don't mean that we shouldn't bother to prepare for the ongoing business of our daily lives. But, no matter how unexpected our circumstances, we can take heart that God has a plan for us — and our ultimate salvation. We have seen His plan unfolding for nearly 4,000 years of covenant history.
Dear Lord, in whatever circumstances I am today, help me to trust in You and act in obedience to Your holy will. I pray through the intercession of obedient St. Joseph, Your foster father. Amen.