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Lenten Reflection Day 30 – St. Joseph, Most Selfless

Opening Prayer:

Lord, you tell us to pray, ask and seek in your name with humble, watchful, persevering, and confident hearts.  I come to you this day and ask for your inspiration as I seek to do your Divine Will, and to make you known and loved in my home and community. Amen.

 

Reflection:

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells those persecuting him for saying he is the Son of Man that they should know by his deeds and by the testimony of John the Baptist that he has been sent by the Father to do His work.  Jesus tells them that if they truly knew the accounts of Moses and had listened to John, whom they all admired, that they must conclude that Jesus was the Messiah.  Instead, they persecute Jesus because he does not operate as they anticipated.  In their minds, they had an idea of what the Messiah should be, and Jesus was not meeting those expectations, but instead was challenging everything they thought was most important and asking them to dedicate themselves to lives of service when they were looking to be liberated from all forms of servitude.

Those persecuting Jesus were doing so because they were ready to be liberated from the physical realities of their oppression, but Jesus kept focusing on the interior life and calling those who follow him to act even more as a servant.  This was so contrary to their expectations that even when faced with the visible evidence that Jesus was a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophets, and even in light of modern prophets like John the Baptist telling them that Jesus was the Messiah, they could not accept Jesus because doing so meant that they would not only continue suffering physically, but would be called to suffer even more for the sake of others.  This dialogue between Jesus and his persecutors in today’s Gospel serves as a reminder to us that we cannot allow our flawed expectations to distract us from the truth when we encounter it.

St. Joseph likely had certain expectations in his own life – he would work and learn the trade of carpentry, dedicate himself to the precepts of his faith as dictated by the religious authorities of his time, and he would find a wife and work to raise a family – and all of this would translate into a pretty normal, predictable and comfortable life, however this was not his reality.  When presented with truth – the very person of Jesus – St. Joseph allowed himself to conform to the convictions of the Father’s Will, and in doing so he definitely did not have a normal, predictable and comfortable life, but he did have the ultimate joy of knowing and experiencing most intimately the love of Jesus Christ.  St. Joseph would have anticipated the liberation associated with the Messiah to be something very similar to the expectations of those persecuting Jesus, the only difference was that St. Joseph was willing to accept the reality of God’s Will despite himself while those persecuting Jesus could only accept their expectations in spite of God’s Will.  So, let us be as St. Joseph and get past our own expectations so that we can accept the truth of Jesus’ teachings and seek truth for the sake of truth and allow it to convict us to a greater love for God and Neighbor.

 

Closing Prayer:

St. Joseph, help me be like you.  Help me to be obedient to the teachings of the Church and faithful to God’s commands.  Help me to patiently endure my cross each day.  Let me be a model of holiness and a pillar of virtue.  I solemnly promise to embrace God’s will and I accept the challenge to work tirelessly for my family’s salvation.  Be my guide and companion on this journey.  St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, pray for us.

About Zachary Morgan

Executive Director of the Men of St. Joseph. Zachary is a native of West Virginia and currently lives in Minnesota with his wife Anne and six children. Zachary served the local church in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis working in Liturgy, Marriage Preparation, Religious Education and Advocacy for the past 11 years before becoming the Executive Director for the Men of St. Joseph.

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