Centuries ago, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, Sicily’s people were saved from a long and devastating drought. Today, on his feast day, the people in Sicily and many who immigrated here honor him with Saint Joseph tables. The tables are adorned with beautifully decorated cookies, candies, ornate braided loaves of bread, and tomato gravy with pasta. The altars have changed little over time, staying true to meatless pasta and cookies and breads sprinkled with sesame seeds. To Sicilians, Saint Joseph’s intervention was a miracle.
Christmas is one week away, and as Advent comes to a close, we hear the story of how Jesus came into the world. The main character in the gospel reading is Joseph. Betrothed to Mary, he learns that she has conceived and he is not the father. He decides, like any other man, to run for the hills! Being a righteous man and knowing the law, he will divorce her quietly to not shame her. He was a man of great faith, so when the angel of the Lord appears to him in a dream, and he is assured that Mary has conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit, he believes that in God, all things are possible.
From that day forward, he opens his heart to Mary, moves her to safety, protecting her and her unborn son. He is selfless in putting his needs aside, caring for and respecting Mary in all ways. Although he was born of noble lineage, he lived a life of humility and is the patron saint of many causes.
As we reflect on today’s readings, give thanks and praise to God for this holy, humble man and do something selfless today.
Let Us Pray:
Gracious God, we thank you for choosing Saint Joseph to be the earthly father of your Son, Jesus. May we emulate his selfless caring for those in need, and on Christmas day, may we welcome Jesus into our hearts as Saint Joseph did. Amen.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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