Saturday, March 15, 2008

Do you know the way to San Jose?

Forgive me, Church, for not posting for a few days.  This is the busy time for Priests, and I've been getting adjusted to a new computer as well.

Today is the transferred Feast of St. Joseph, moved to the first available day before Palm Sunday (that is, today).  Preaching at Mass this morning, I mentioned how there was an abundance of color in the sanctuary: the purple still covering statues, red on the altar for this weekend's Palm Sunday celebration, and me dressed in white for the Patron of the Universal Church.

Normally I decorate the St. Joseph altar in our church (for those of you who attend liturgy workshops, that would be our "worship space"), but a few things got in my way: a lot going on in my life, the fact that, being a Saturday, the decorations would be lost by the evening's vigil Mass for Palm Sunday, and the fact that, since last weekend, the statue has been unseen.

But, as I told this morning's Mass attendees, what a great metaphor for St. Joseph: unseen, veiled, but present nonetheless.  Rarely mentioned in the Scriptures, we have nothing from his mouth directly.  We know St. Joseph had his share of dreams in which God made His will known (whether it be taking Mary as his wife or bugging out to Egypt).  We know he and Mary were going crazy looking for the 12 year old Jesus after they realized he wasn't in the Nazareth-bound caravan.  I think the best compliment paid to Joey in the scriptures comes from the people of the town of Nazareth.  Years later, they still remembered Joseph when Jesus spoke. "Is this not the carpenter's son?"  Would that people recognized Christ in us the way that they recognized Joseph in Jesus.

St. Josemaria Escriva had a great love for St. Joseph.  In the mammoth 3-volume biography by Andres Vazquez de Prada, we hear of the start of Escriva's often used advice, "Ite ad Ioseph" ("Go to Joseph", which more accurately refers to the Joseph of the Old Testament).  But still, what great advice for us, to go to St. Joseph with our concerns, especially today on his feast day.

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