(Today is the Solemnity of St Joseph, transferred from yesterday so as not to disturb the sequence of Sundays.)
FIRST READING (2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16)
The word of the Lord came to Nathan, "Go and tell my servant David, "When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.'"
SECOND READING (Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22)
The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants - not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all, as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations" - in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations; as he had been told, "So shall your descendants be."
That is why his faith was "reckoned to him as righteousness.”
GOSPEL (Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a)Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
When Joseph woke from sleep, hedid as the angel of the Lord commanded him.
REFLECTIONSObeying the Lord in everything - Servants of the Word
St Joseph the Carpenter - Coptic Orthodox essay
The Importance of "hidden" St Joseph - Pope Benedict XVI
FURTHERMORE . . .
There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favour chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfill the task at hand. This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord, and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph's wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying "Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. Amen.
What emanates from the figure of Saint Joseph is faith. Joseph of Nazareth is a "just man" because he totally "lives by faith." He is holy because his faith is truly heroic. Sacred Scripture says little of him. It does not record even one word spoken by Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth. And yet, even without words, he shows the depth of his faith, his greatness. Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God. We see how the word of the Living God penetrates deeply into the soul of that man, that just man. And we, do we know how to listen to the word of God? Do we know how to absorb it into the depths of our human personalities? Do we open our conscience in the presence of this word?
who from the family of thy servant David
didst raise up Joseph
to be the guardian of thine incarnate Son
and the spouse of his virgin mother:
Grant us, we beseech thee,
grace to imitate his uprightness of life
and his obedience to thy commands;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
one God, world without end.