Grace to you!
Providence – that divine purposeful craft that sets things on course for the fulfillment of God’s plan in our lives – is a powerful grace. Discovering it opens a new vista to us. Embracing it smashes all doubts, providing unimaginable resources for us to be happy and reach our destinations.
Those who live by providence see the finger of God in all things and in everything. Where it seems gloomy, sullied, dark and bleak to many, everything seems like a network of pleasant roads. The child of providence sees roads in history, in historical events and figures as well as things as they happen, not to mention the unknown which is embraced with unequalled sense of optimism.
I believe in providence. It has built me into who I am and I guess you!
With the eye of providence I look at Joseph—known in our Latin rite as Custos Ecclesia (the custodian of the church) for the role he played in protecting the Child Jesus and Mother Mary from the moment of Jesus’ conception to the time the Lord took Joseph home.
I believe, this is up for your discernment, Joseph’s life and role in the Holy Family of Nazareth (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) was a long journey of Lent. On this Day—17 of our Lenten Reflections, the feast of Saint Joseph, it will be wonderful to see how Joseph’s “Lent life,” as I will call it, reveals to us divine providence.
Lent is an opportunity to master our passions—lust, fame and ego so as to be in service of Christ and his people. It’s also a time to accelerate our commitments to righteous deeds. Joseph, from day one of his relationship with Mary, gave up the legitimate satisfaction of sensual intimacy, allowed the crushing of his fame and ego as the man of the house and like his step-son-Jesus, learned obedience through suffering. Isn’t it glaring that little was written in Scripture about this great man? Subsequent generations would omit his name in the Second and Third Eucharistic Prayers of our Catholic Mass also. Thank God Pope Francis intervened few years ago, by instructing his name be included where omitted in the Eucharistic prayer.
Joseph is a true model of Lent—taking after the Child Jesus whom he served and protected.
May we learn from Joseph and ask the Lord to help us see beyond the hurdles of dealing with our passions so as to see what providence is offering.
Pray with me: Lord, let us learn from the journey of Joseph’s life how to surrender to your will and trust in your providence. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[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 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, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.