Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Gospel Reflection

March 19, 2013
Tuesday – Year of Faith – Lenten Seasons
Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Husband of Blessed Virgin Mary
by Rev. Fr. Victor Angelo Parlan (Diocese of Cubao)
12:15PM Mass, Shrine of Mary Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA (EDSA Shrine)

The LORD spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. It is he who shall build a house for my name. And I will make his royal throne firm forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.’”

Responsorial Psalm ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 and 29

R. (37) The son of David will live for ever.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness,
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. The son of David will live for ever.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R. The son of David will live for ever.
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.”
R. The son of David will live for ever.

Brothers and sisters: It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes from faith. For this reason, it depends on faith, so that it may be a gift, and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants, not to those who only adhere to the law but to those who follow the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us, as it is written, I have made you father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist. He believed, hoping against hope, that he would become the father of many nations, according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be. That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. 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. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.


Just when all things have been planned out, just when everything is set, everything is laid out for us, everything is in place, everything seems perfect, suddenly, the unexpected happens. Things seem to start going wrong. The perfect seems to become imperfect. The plans and dreams that we have for ourselves seem to grow dim. Parang nawawala na sa ating mga kamay, 'yong ating mga pangarap, 'yong ating mga panaginip para sa ating sarili.

This must have also been the experience of the saint whose feast we celebrate today - St. Joseph. Joseph had his dreams; Joseph had his plans. He just wanted to live a normal life - to have Mary as his wife, to have kids, of course, and as a carpenter, to build his own home. Joseph had his plans. Joseph had his dreams. 

And then suddenly, an angel comes to him, telling him that his wife is to have a child. An angel comes to him, telling him that he is to take Mary even if she is pregnant, and that he will become a father to a child, even if the child is not his very own. He had the right to complain. He had the right to refuse. But the response of St. Joseph teaches us a very important lesson. That before the plan of God, before the will of God, the only proper response is faith and trust.

The plan of God was already there from the very beginning, as we heard in our readings. In the Second Reading, it was already given to Abraham. In the First Reading, this promise was already made to David. And in the Gospel, we know that Joseph was very much part of God's plan. No if's, no but's. Joseph did not even say a word in the Gospel. Kahit saan ho kayo tumingin sa Ebanghelyo, wala kayong makikitang nagsalita si Jose. Everything for Joseph was an act of faith. Everything for Joseph was an act of confidence. And because of this, God's plan of salvation was fulfilled. 

My brothers and sisters, we all have our own plans. We all have our own dreams. But to live in faith is to believe that God has a greater plan, perhaps a more beautiful plan for us. Sometimes we may not understand His plan. Often, we do not even like it. But believing in God's plan and trusting Him can be a source of blessing. It can be a source of grace. It could be an instrument for Jesus to be born in our lives. It could be a way for us to be closer to God, even if the situation is imperfect. Even if the plans we have for our life do not go as we dreamed of. 

True blessing, true happiness and true joy is allowing our lives to be part of God's plan.