As it was the month of March, we wanted to reflect in our meeting of the Associates on the life of Saint Joseph, based on the Gospels of St Matthew 1, 18 – 24 and St Luke 2, 1 – 20.
To begin with, we emphasised that God reveals himself to each one, no matter his condition. We have an example of this in Saint Joseph, a common, ordinary man, who is devout and faithful to the Jewish law and tradition, a descendant of David and heir to the promise of God. He is a worker with values and faith, an introspective, who God chooses to participate in his plan of salvation.
With this certitude, the group were then encouraged and helped to enter into the heart of the Gospel.
We calmly meditated on the text where we discovered the following characteristics of Joseph:
- He said ‘yes’ to the project of God with decisiveness.
- He repudiated Mary in secret, motivated by Love and not vengeance or power over her.
- He discerned and recognised his apprehensions and fears and how they could affect his mission.
- He receives his mission from the Father.
- Humbly, not to be the father of the Saviour, but to receive this mission from God, he is ready to give up the practice of his cult with its offerings and his responsibilities as a good Jew, faithful to the Law.
- He journeyed and assumed the mission with Mary and Joseph. Faced with incertitude he lived in the certainty of faith and filial confidence in the Father.
After sharing what the text said to us, we shared from our own experience:
- When I pray the rosary, the joyful mysteries are already not so joyful, because I am drawn to pray for the sons who have disappeared; not those lost in the temple, but those who have been kidnapped and made to serve as soldiers. I think of how terribly worried their parents must be.
- I am learning from the father’s infinite confidence despite his preoccupations. In our day our sons give us much to worry about, but we try to remain confident in God. We recognize that our sons are lent to us, a gift from God. We are witnesses to their growth as persons.
- He teaches me to live happily, to work honestly.
- To dialogue as a family, to listen and think before speaking.
- To be silent and reflect on my behaviour.
- He teaches me tolerance, to care for others, to respect their journey of faith and growth.
- To put my all into what I take on and into what is confided to me.
- To get involved in mission, despite my emotional highs and lows
- To carry out my daily tasks with joy, patience and responsibility.
- I want to be a witness for others, not so that they will admire me, but so that light may shine, there where the Lord sends me.
- To care about my vocation as a father.
- To grow in my relationship with God the Father, in prayer.
- To cultivate prayer as a family.
- I want to be divested of myself, less words and more acts.
We recalled some characteristics of our Congregation and our charism:
- The hidden life in Nazareth, the hidden work, discreet, close to the people.
- Mother Marie St Charles’ devotion to making known all of the favours Saint Joseph had shown to our religious family.
- The construction of the mother house of Kermaria and of its chapel of Saint Joseph, a place of devotion not only for the Sisters, but for every pilgrim who goes there to ask for the intercession of Saint Joseph.
- In this mother house many Sisters pass their last days and die there like Saint Joseph, in the arms of Mary and Jesus, simply doing the will of the Father.
- Confidence in moments of difficulty.
- The sense of work done with dedication, love and responsibility.
- Our founders always encouraged us to imitate the virtues of Saint Joseph, his silence, to cultivate an interior life and the discernment of what is real, our dreams and projects.
- We confide our intentions to him as beloved daughters and ask his intercession for all children so that he may protect them and guide them as he guided Jesus.
Our founders and Sisters in authority have always taken it upon themselves to cultivate devotion to Saint Joseph by every means, as an act of gratitude and as a model of following that is line with our vocation as Daughters of Jesus, in every epoch of our history.
We continue to have confidence in his paternal protection and ask at this time that he would give us his virtues, so that we may say ‘yes’ and collaborate in the project of God for our lives. As Associates we want to continue to learn from Saint Joseph and to spread devotion to this great saint, patron of the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus.
Viviana Carolina Forero A HJK