A HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT – CYCLE “A” – 12/22/13 – SMG
Pax et Bonum! Peace and Goodness to you this day!
This past week I was talking with one of the students from our school here at St. Maria Goretti, and we were discussing St. Joseph, who happens to be the main character in our St. Matthew’s Gospel account today. And the young man asked me, how did St. Joseph get canonized? What were his three miracles? And if we know so little about him, including not knowing for sure where his body is buried, how did St. Joseph stay on the Church calendar, when so many other saints were taken off after Vatican II? These are great questions. It is true that we don’t know a lot about St. Joseph. The earliest saints of the Catholic Church were not canonized in the same way that saints are canonized today. It was less of a process, and more of an acclamation by the people of God. This is especially true of the earliest saints that our primary proof of their existence is from Sacred Scripture itself. So how is St. Joseph a Saint? Believe me, anybody who lives with two perfect people, is a saint. And remember, Jesus and Mary didn’t just think that they were perfect, but they really were. I’ve always felt a little sorry for St. Joseph. So anything that went wrong, anything…from leaving the milk out on the counter, forgetting to pick-up the dry-cleaning, to making the family late for church, it was always St. Joseph’s fault. He must have had great humility!
St. Matthew reminds us today of St. Joseph’s great Faith. And that’s what we want to talk about on this Fourth Sunday of Advent. We always talk about how God prepared Mary for what He was going to ask her to do, for bringing His Son into the world. I gotta believe that St. Joseph was likewise prepared for his unique role as the foster father of God’s Son. St. Joseph had a great Faith. That didn’t just come from nowhere. St. Joseph knew God throughout his life. St. Joseph trust God. And St. Joseph relied on God for everything. In good times and in bad times, St. Joseph put his Faith and trust in God. What a perfect example for the vocation of Fatherhood. To a man of lesser Faith, when his beloved fiancée, Mary, comes to him expecting a baby, and with a story of angels and the Holy Spirit, this all could have gone very differently. God asked a lot of St. Joseph. He asked a lot before Jesus was born, and He asked a lot of him AFTER Jesus was born. St. Joseph was always there. He was always Faithful. He was always listening to God and God’s will, even when it meant moving his family to another country! St. Joseph trusted and he believed. Even when an angel shows up in the middle of the night in a dream, St. Joseph still trusts and knows that God is speaking to him.
How many of us listen like that? How many of us, have that much Faith? In these final days before Christmas, it is St. Joseph who challenges us to trust and believe and have Faith, in this God Who is ALWAYS faithful to His promises! ALWAYS! What would it take for us to have Faith like St. Joseph’s, BEFORE we get to Christmas? Could we increase our prayer life? Could we read Sacred Scripture more? Could we serve or volunteer or go visit someone who is sick or suffering? What charities could we help out with our funds? Could we spend some time in the Adoration Chapel with Jesus BEFORE His Birthday? The possibilities are endless! All of us can grow Faith in our lives. It doesn’t matter if you have Faith the size of a mustard seed, or you have Faith the size of a mountain, all of us can grow more Faith in our lives, and this last week of Advent is the perfect time to do it!
St. Joseph did live an exceptional life. He is that Faithful husband, father, friend that we would all like to have, and that we would all like to be. He may not have been perfect, but he was perfect for what God chose him to do. It is much the same for all of us. We are not perfect people either. We were not born without original sin and we are certainly fully God and fully man. We are just like St. Joseph. We are people who are simply trying to be Faithful to what God is asking us to do, every day! Through St. Joseph’s example and his intercession, may we grow in our Faith, and may we be prepared to welcome his son, Jesus, on His Birthday this Wednesday!
God bless us and help us to be Faithful! Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!