December 27, 2020 - Pastor Message05/18/2021
THE YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH
“When Jesus began his ministry he was about thirty years of age. He was the son, as was thought, of Joseph” (Luke 3:23).
This weekend we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. When we think of the Holy Family, of course our thoughts first go to Jesus, the very reason the Holy Family exists. Next, we normally think of Mary, uniquely graced by God from the moment of her conception to be free from the power of sin and so to be a worthy mother of the conqueror of sin. Lastly, if we think of him at all, we think of Joseph, the odd man out. He was not the Son of God incarnate. He was not conceived without sin, nor did he bear the savior of the world in his womb. Joseph was just an ordinary person, no different from you and me, whom God called to do extraordinary things, and he obediently did them, becoming the protector, the provider, and the humble patriarch of the Holy Family.
In recognition of the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX’s naming of Joseph as the patron saint of the universal Church, Pope Francis has declared 2021 the Year of St. Joseph. He has done so also in recognition of the troubles facing our world today and how, in these times, “our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked. People who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines, or on the latest television show, yet in these very days are surely shaping the decisive events of our history. Doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests, men and women religious, and so very many others” (Patris Corde, introduction). Joseph, the ordinary man called to do extraordinary things in the service of the Holy Family, serves as the perfect example and source of spiritual aid to the ordinary people called to do extraordinary things in the service of our human family today, and so Pope Francis has invited us to “go to Joseph” (Genesis 41:55) in our time of special need.
As a parish, we will reflect and plan activities involving a series of themes around Joseph’s life throughout the coming year, and I invite you to stay tuned to the bulletin and other communications for more information. For your personal spiritual life, I invite you to check out the following resources:
- Patris Corde the Apostolic Letter from Pope Francis declaring the Year of St. Joseph (http:// www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_letters/documents/papa-francesco-lettera ap_20201208_patriscorde.html)
- Resources for the Year of St. Joseph from the Diocese of Charlotte (https://yearofstjoseph.org/ resources/)
- Vatican News article on indulgences granted during the Year of St. Joseph (https:// vaticannews.va/en/vaticancity/news/2020 12/apostolicpenite ntiaryplenaryindulgenceyear stjoseph.html)
May the Year of St. Joseph be a fruitful time of prayerful reflection and study for the whole Church as we turn to our universal patron, and may his humble, faithful example inspire us all to serve one another just as he served the Holy Family.
Fr. Marc Stockton