19.03.2020 – St. Joseph — quiet and steadfast

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, a man of whom no words are recorded in tradition, a man who quietly listens to God's voice and does with resolve that to which the Holy Spirit moved him and was necessary to protect his family. Scarcely had the joy of Jesus's birth come, Joseph heard the prophecy made to Mary, that a sword would pierce her heart. How difficult must it have been for him to hear such words! He heard from an angel in a dream, that the child's life was in danger and that they should flee to Egypt. In all of this St. Joseph remained steadfast.

Today we may feel particularly close to St. Joseph and can learn much from him. Day-to-day life is quieter, as many activities can't or shouldn't take place. We ourselves make have more leisure to focus on what is essential, to give more heed to distinguish what is truly important from what is superfluous, give up many things that formerly claimed our attention. That can itself be rather strenuous: some persons are already feeling cabin fever… but this new "emptiness" and quiet in society and in our own life can also be a chance to listen to our dreams, to our heart, and above all, to God Himself.

We also experience, as St. Joseph did, much that pains and worries us. At present the spread of the corona virus is all over the news, because it is already impacting our lives here and now and the measures being taken to save human lives may have an even more dramatic effect if we or our neighbors lose our jobs; at the same time the countless other things have not ceased to be cause for concern, the multitudes fleeing from war, terror or starvation, various natural disasters such as the extended fires in the Amazon and Australia, etc. St. Joseph can here be a model for us of remaining steadfast in the midst of many challenges, not talking a lot and making a fuss, but simply doing what it is in our power to do, and trusting in God for the rest.

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