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Lenten Reflection Day 35 – St. Joseph, Man of Action

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.



In today’s Gospel Jesus asks those present to judge him based on his actions – the miracles he has performed in the name of the Father – rather than on their expectations.  They accuse Jesus of blasphemy, but when Jesus asks them to give example of how he has blasphemed, given the evidence of his miracles that he is the Son of God, they can give no sufficient answer and instead pursue him and try to capture him.  The Gospel today displays the harm that comes with dismissing the witness of our actions for the sake of convenience or emotions.

All evidence pointed to Jesus being the Son of God, and every time he was confronted to this point he adequately supported his claim that he had been sent from the Father.  Upon hearing the message Jesus proclaimed in conjunction with his works, however, the religious elders began to reject him as he was calling them to a greater conversion of the heart, which necessitates serving others, which was a difficult path of self-denial.  In short, Jesus’ works were impressive and legitimized his claim that he was sent from the Father, but his teachings were just really inconvenient for them.  We tell our children/students that our actions speak louder than words, but if that is the case, then who was Jesus – and if our actions define us, are we living as followers of Jesus?  Do we act as Jesus compels us through his life and teachings, or do we make excuses which diminish Jesus’ authority so that we can justify our complacency?

None of St. Joseph’s words are recorded in the Gospels – everything we know of St. Joseph is a testament of his actions.  St. Joseph had great trust in the Father and believed so deeply that Jesus was the Father’s gift to humanity that he conformed his life to God’s Will and fostered Jesus being present in his home, his community and ultimately to all of humanity.  When we examine the lives and effect any of the Saints had in our world, we can understand that just like St. Joseph, we also have the opportunity to make Jesus truly present in the world today, but it requires us being men of action who dismiss the temptation of complacency and allow Jesus to convict us to greater sacrificial love for others.  Jesus learned from St. Joseph the importance of being a man of quality whose actions did not contradict his words, but hopefully we are more open than the religious leaders of Jesus’ time to examining the deeds of Christ and conforming our lives to the Will of the one who sent him.  May we embrace the lesson of St. Joseph’s life in that how we act will ultimately have a greater effect than our speech in making Jesus known and loved.


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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