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Thursday, March 19, 1998

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St. Joseph

2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
Psalm 89:1-5, 27, 29
Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

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the sorrows of joseph

"Your father and I have been searching for You in sorrow." —Luke 2:48

When we see a picture of Jesus hanging on the cross, we realize in a small way His great sorrows and sufferings. He suffered more than any human being ever has or ever will suffer. We also are aware of the sorrows of Mary, the Sorrowful Mother. However, we don't hear of the sorrows of Joseph.

That Jesus was born in a stable must have hurt Joseph deeply. He probably said to himself: "Can't a husband and father do better for his wife and Baby?" Joseph must have suffered sorrow when he heard Simeon prophesy that Mary, Joseph's wife, would be pierced with a sword of sorrow (Lk 2:35). When you love someone, it can be harder to hear about their sufferings than to suffer yourself. Joseph also suffered when he had to get up and flee that night with his wife and his Child to Egypt (Mt 2:14). The family life of refugees is full of sorrow. How hard it must have been for the sorrowing Joseph (Lk 2:48) to realize that when Jesus said He had to be in His Father's house, He was not referring to Joseph's house (Lk 2:49). Also, Joseph suffered the daily sorrows of being looked down upon because of his lowly occupation (see Jn 6:42; Mk 6:3).

Finally, after a life of sorrows, Joseph died a happy death. He went to his Father's house, the house where Jesus lived. There Jesus wiped every tear from Joseph's eyes (Rv 7:17).

Prayer:  Father, may I love as Joseph loved. May I love enough to suffer much.

Promise:  "Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before Me; your throne shall stand firm forever." —2 Sm 7:16

Praise:  The Dillon's, parents of six girls, prayed a novena to St. Joseph for a baby boy. At the close of the novena, they conceived a son.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997