Saturday, March 19, 2016

In My Father’s House

When your days have been completed and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, sprung from your loins, and I will establish his kingdom. He it is who shall build a house for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.  2 Samuel 7:12-14A

When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them.  Luke 2:48-50

Father show me where I fit into this plan of yours.
How can a man be father to the Son of God?
Lord for all my life I've been a simple carpenter.
How can I raise a king, how can I raise a king?

Michael Card - Joseph's Song Lyrics 

We remember saints Patrick and Joseph at this time of March every year.  Ironically, for St. Patrick’s Day, several web sites I visited urged people to watch the John Ford-directed film The Quiet Man (starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara) to see how Hollywood tried to overcome prejudice against the Irish.

The Quiet Man is an interesting title and it could be the subtitle to our solemnity today:  St. Joseph the Worker, aka The Quiet Man.  Because throughout the Gospels, St. Joseph utters not a single word that is quoted directly.

He appears numerous times but each story is recounted in the third person.  Angelic revelations.  Reverse Exodus back to Egypt.  New Exodus back to Palestine.  The encounter with Simeon and Anna.  Today’s Passover story of Jesus teaching in the temple.  Joseph had a role in each of the Joyful Mysteries yet he utters not a single Amen nor a Hallelujah. The Quiet Man.

[St. Joseph] ignores conventional mores and marries the pregnant Mary. He never says a word in the Gospels. He simply prayerfully follows the mysterious promptings of the Holy Spirit revealed to him in dreams. He risks his life and acts to protect Mary and the baby Jesus.[i]

The only way to know what is revealed to someone in their dreams would be if they told those dreams to a third person.  Who would that be?  Joseph sitting in a quiet barn awaiting the birth of Jesus confides in Mary that he had his own personal “Annunciation?”  A few weeks later, as Mary was strong enough to travel home with the Baby and the Magi gifts, Joseph tells her of his Second Annunciation – the second message he got from an angel to flee to Egypt?  Or maybe, taking a break from building a house with his apprentice son, they sit in the shade of a tree and the father shares those experiences with Jesus.

Our Quiet Man had to speak out.  But he did not have to shout out.  He could get the word out in simple one-on-one conversations.

Where are you looking for Jesus today?  What do you expect to find?  Who will you tell about the experience?

Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary today and reflect on what you would be thinking if you were St. Joseph in each scene.

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