Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A letter to Saint Joseph

Statue of a smiling St Joseph at Zejtun church, Malta
During our school Mass today, on this feast of St Joseph, I shared with the children and their teachers and parents a hypothetical letter I wrote to Saint Joseph:
Dear St Joseph,
    Today being your feast day, I thought of writing you a few lines mainly to show my gratitude to you for all you did for Jesus and Mary his mother. Very few people are greater than you, because who was ever closer to Mary and Jesus than you. You married Mary even though many people were suspicious of you, and you were patient enough to raise Jesus from his birth to the day you died, and left him as an orphan and his mom as a widow.
Joseph, you showed your greatness by your humility. By being humble and quiet and staying always in the background, your image shone forth majestically and we admire the simple life you led, and your courage in taking Mary as your wife, in spite of the gossip that was going on from other people.
I can only imagine how special and happy was that house in Nazareth, raising Jesus as a baby, a toddler, a young boy and as a teenager. A few questions come to mind:
-         Was he obedient to you and his mother? Did he go to sleep on time? Did he get up on time? Did he say his prayers? Did he obey at home? Did he have any sleepovers? Did he have any girlfriends? Did his friends knew how special he was? It hurts me to read that the people of Nazareth threw stones at him when he visited them years later!
-         Did he play any tricks on you and Mary? Since he was an only boy, he couldn’t blame his brothers and sisters if something went missing, if something broke. Did he always do his chores? Did he go to school, which were probably different from our schools? Did he do his homework? 
Miraculous statue of St Joseph at Rabat, Malta
     Dear St Joseph, we admire your kindness in dealing with other people. When a stressful situation appeared, you always let Mary handle it, like when Jesus was lost in the temple for 3 days, or like the wedding at Cana, when they ran out of wine. You always stayed in the background, and this also shows that you were respectful of others and avoided any quarrels and conflicts.
     I ask you finally St Joseph to keep our families in your prayers. Just as you protected you family from Herod, from harm and from those who hated you, your wife and your Son, please protect our families and children from danger. I beg you also, please pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. We need more priests and sisters to work in our parishes, schools, hospitals and other places. And I finally ask you to remember those who work, those looking for work, especially husbands and fathers who lost their jobs. 

Signed - your friends in Bend, Oregon

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