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Lenten Reflection Day 36 – St. Joseph, The Man Who Went All In

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, the religious leaders decide to plot and scheme about how to get rid of Jesus rather than accept the consequences of his teachings.  Jesus’ message was one of humility, service and compassion, and he asked his followers to allow his teachings to convict them to conform their lives to this new approach to their faith.  Many who saw Jesus’ miracles believed in him and became his followers, while others witnessed his actions and were scared because they knew if his actions legitimized his claims then they would have to conform themselves to become as servants, and this was going to be difficult if they were going to also continue living the lifestyle they had grown accustomed to living.

For some, the promise of eternal life and becoming one with God by cooperating in His Divine Will was reward enough for the difficulties Jesus told them they would have to endure in his name.  For others, it was much easier to work to dismiss and discredit Jesus – in spite of his miracles and the testimony of those who witnessed the Father speak at his baptism by John in the River Jordan and the evidence that he was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies – so that they would not have to give up their lifestyle here on earth.  Change is difficult, and we allow ourselves to become so comfortable in what we think is the truth that when we encounter an idea or a new way which forces us to defend our position, it is easier to simply dismiss the problem and continue forward in our set ways rather than entertain that we might have to change the way we live or think.  Because we are born sinful and broken, when we encounter Jesus, he necessarily changes everything – and the question which then faces each of us is whether we commit fully to him and become his disciples, or we reject him, in part or whole, because his way is difficult and replaces our comfort zone with conviction to always be doing more for others.

St. Joseph understood first-hand the reality of the difficulty associated with serving Jesus.  He was reduced from a man of honor in his community to a poor, homeless alien because it best served the needs of Jesus.  St. Joseph’s comfort zone was long gone when he trudged through the desert with his wife – who the world thought was carrying his illegitimate child – on a donkey.  St. Joseph’s comfort zone was replaced with pain when he had to watch his wife give birth to the Savior of the world on a dirt floor surrounded by filth and animals.  St. Joseph’s dedication to serving Jesus was unwavering and relentless, and from the moment he accepted Mary as his wife until he died in her arms with Jesus by their side, he lived a life that most could not have endured, but in so doing, he ensured that Jesus was known and loved – he was all in.  Jesus is not calling us to try to find ways to include him in our lives, but rather to reorient our lives to total submission to the Father’s Will through him – he is calling us to be all in.  Can we be as St. Joseph and accept the reality of a life lived completely for Jesus Christ so that he can be known and loved in our world, or will we choose what makes us more comfortable?

 

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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