Posted by: fvbcdm | March 19, 2015

Solemnity of Saint Joseph (19 March 2015)

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Saint Joseph.  Saint Joseph is the patron of the universal Church and also of a happy death. The reasons for both of these patronages of his are obvious: just as Saint Joseph was the head of the Holy Family of Nazareth, so now in heaven, he is the head, in a sense, of Our Lord’s entire family of the Church. And just as Saint Joseph died, we presume, in the presence of Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother, so we pray to him for the grace of a happy death for us and those we love. One can have no better death than in the company of the Savior and his Immaculate Mother.

It is hard for us even to imagine the spiritual gifts given to Mary and Joseph. Remember that we derive much of our personality, our attitudes, our ideas, our ways of looking at things, our culture, and our dispositions from our parents. When God was preparing for the coming of the Word into the world as a human being, surely he would have prepared two very special people to become the parents of the Word-made-flesh, since they would have such a great influence upon him as he grew from infancy to adulthood. Therefore in addition to praying through the intercession of Saint Joseph for the Church and for a happy death for ourselves and others, I would suggest that we also pray through him for a constantly increasing intimacy with Jesus and his most holy mother.

Tomorrow we observe the vernal equinox—the day when spring officially begins. Many centuries ago, the Church determined that the great feast of Easter would be celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox each year. The equinox doesn’t vary more than 24 hours from year to year, but the full moon following it can vary as much as a month. So Easter can fall in late March or at almost any time in April. Pagan religions have always tended to emphasize the variations of the sun, moon, stars, planets, and the seasons. The Church baptized some of those festivals, so to speak, by allowing them to determine her feast-days. Thus, Christmas falls just after the winter solstice, and Easter after the spring equinox. However, one is a fixed date and the other a movable feast.  In any case, the equinox tells us that Lent is drawing to a close and the glorious festival of Jesus’s resurrection is just around the corner! Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note: This message was composed some years ago.

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