DAILY MASS READINGS (March 19, 2020)

SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH, SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (CYCLE A, White)

Reading 1 (2 SAMUEL 7:4-5A, 12-14A, 16)

A reading from the 2nd Book of Samuel

The LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
“Go, tell my servant David,
‘When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his kingdom firm.
It is he who shall build a house for my name.
And I will make his royal throne firm forever.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.'”

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 AND 29)

R. (37)  The son of David will live for ever.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness,
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. The son of David will live for ever.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R. The son of David will live for ever.
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.”
R. The son of David will live for ever.

Reading 2 (ROMANS 4:13, 16-18, 22)

A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans

Brothers and sisters:
It was not through the law
that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
that he would inherit the world,
but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
For this reason, it depends on faith,
so that it may be a gift,
and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants,
not to those who only adhere to the law
but to those who follow the faith of Abraham,
who is the father of all of us, as it is written,
I have made you father of many nations.
He is our father in the sight of God,
in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead
and calls into being what does not exist.
He believed, hoping against hope,
that he would become the father of many nations,
according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.
That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.

Verse Before The Gospel (PSALM 84:5)

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

Blessed are those who dwell in your house, O Lord;
they never cease to praise you.

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

GospeL (MATTHEW 1:16, 18-21, 24A)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

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.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Or (LUKE 2:41-51A)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: There are three things we can learn from the life of Saint Joseph. 
First is obedience and faithfulness. Saint Joseph was an upright man, a hardworking carpenter from Galilee. It came to pass that he is to be betrothed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. At first, he wanted to divorce Mary secretly, in order not to be caught in the act of adultery. But what happened was a divine intervention, wherein it was made known that the baby in the Virgin’s womb would be the Messiah, the Savior of the world. This announcement made Joseph strong, so he married Mary and took care of her. After the Nativity, he also took care of our Lord Jesus Christ, and taught him his work. He guided the Holy Family in their journeys in Israel, especially in Jerusalem. 
Second is dream. Saint Matthew records in his Gospel that the angel of the Lord appeared to Saint Joseph in three separate dreams, one before the Nativity of our Lord, one after the Visit of the Magi, and one after the Death of King Herod the Great. The dreaming of the Saint symbolizes his total self-dedication to God. He surrenders himself to the Lord by sleeping and awaiting his call and mission for him. Thus Pope Francis spoke about him: “I would like to tell you something very personal. I like St. Joseph very much. He is a strong man of silence. On my desk, I have a statue of St. Joseph sleeping. While sleeping, he looks after the Church. Yes, he can do it! We know that. When I have a problem or a difficulty, I write on a piece of paper, and I put it under his statue so he can dream about it. This means please pray to St. Joseph for this problem.” 
Third and last is silence. If we look back at Sacred Scripture, then we could see that no word or phrase was spoken by Saint Joseph. Was he silent in real life? Or was there an emphasis the Evangelists Saints Matthew and Luke want to point out regarding his silence? Silence is the language of God. It was during the time of the Prophet Elijah that God revealed himself in a small voice, not in the fire and not in the earthquake. Jesus teaches us that solitude and silence are two ways to pray, not like the Pharisees who attract the attention of others. Saint Joseph’s sacred silence shows us that we can be upright and just in terms of actions and obey the Lord’s commandments. Saint Anthony of Padua tells us: “Actions speak louder than words.” These three things can help us inspire to follow the example of Saint Joseph in dedicating himself to God. We can ask him to help us obey the will of the Father and intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ. 
As we journey down the end of this Lenten road, like Saint Joseph, let us obey the Lord’s will and commands by faithfulness and obedience, dream, and silence.

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