Grace to you!
Providence is a powerful grace. It is that divine purposeful craft that sets things on course for the fulfillment of God's plan in our lives. Discovering it opens a new vista to us. Embracing it smashes doubts, providing unimaginable resources for us to be happy and to reach our ultimate goal.
Those who live by providence see the finger of God in all things and everything. Where it seems gloomy, sullied, dark, and bleak to many, everything looks like a network of pleasant roads. The child of providence sees paths in history, in historical events and figures, as well as things as they happen. They also embrace the unknown with an unmatched sense of optimism and hope.
I believe in providence. It has made me who I am. I guess you too.
With the eye of providence, I look at Saint Joseph. The Church names him Custos Ecclesia (the custodian of the Church) for the role he played in protecting the Child Jesus and Mother Mary. Saint Joseph played this role from the moment of Jesus' conception to the time the Lord took him (Joseph) home.
I believe this is up for your discernment, that Joseph's life and role in the Holy Family of Nazareth (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) was a long journey of Lent. As we continue our Lenten journey, it will be wonderful to see how Saint Joseph's Lent life, as I will call it, reveals to us divine providence.
Lent is, in part, an opportunity to master our passions (lust, fame, and ego) to be in the service of Christ and his people. From day one of his relationship with Mary, Joseph gave up legitimate satisfactions for a higher cause. He allowed the crushing of his fame and ego as the man of the house. Just like his son Jesus, who in our modern language could be called his step-son, Joseph learned obedience through suffering. Isn't it glaring that we have an extremely tiny account of his great life in Scripture? Despite the incredible role he played in the Holy Family, very little was written about him.
Joseph is an accurate model of Lent. He took after the Child-Jesus whom he served and protected. He is an excellent example of a selfless and service-oriented life. His lifestyle also speaks of profound silence.
May we learn from Saint Joseph the value of selflessness in service. May we also appreciate the relevance of silence when the going gets tough as it is now we are dealing with Coronavirus pandemic. Ask the Lord to help us look beyond the hurdles of dealing with our temptations and current challenges to see what providence is offering.
Pray with me: Lord, let us learn from the journey of Saint Joseph's life how to surrender to your will and trust in your providence. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Feast of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary; 2 Sm 7:4-5a, 12-14, 9, 16; Rm 4:13, 16-18, 22; Mt 1:16, 18-21]
Father Maurice Emelu, Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth and inspiration. They are designed for a general audience. They may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons.