MONday 20 MARCH
SAINT JOSEPH HUSBAND OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
He was a carpenter. He accepted the will of God and supported Mary and brought up Jesus. He is widely venerated as a patron of artisans and of workers in general.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Lk 12: 42
Behold, a faithful and prudent steward, whom the Lord set over his household.
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that by Saint Joseph’s intercession, your Church may constantly watch over the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation, whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: 2 Samuel 7:4 -5, 12-14, 16
The word of the Lord came to Nathan: “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus the Lord speaks: When your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. (It is he who shall build a house for my name, and I will make his royal throne secure for ever.) I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Yet I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.’”
Psalm 88: 2-5, 27, 29
R/ His dynasty shall last for ever.
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord; through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth. Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever, that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.
I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: I will establish your dynasty for ever and set up your throne through all ages.
He will say to me: You are my father, my God, the rock who saves me. I will keep my love for him always; with him my covenant shall last.
Second reading: Romans 4: 13, 16-18, 22
The promise of inheriting the world was not made to Abraham and his descendants on account of any law but on account of the righteousness which consists in faith. That is why what fulfils the promise depends on faith, so that it may be a free gift and be available to all of Abraham’s descendants, not only those who belong to the Law but also those who belong to the faith of Abraham who is the father of all of us. As Scripture says: I have made you the ancestor of many nations – Abraham is our father in the eyes of God, in whom he put his faith, and who brings the dead to life and calls into being what does not exist. Though it seemed Abraham’s hope could not be fulfilled, he hoped and he believed, and through doing so he did become the father of many nations exactly as he had been promised: Your descendants will be as many as the stars. This is the faith that was ‘considered as justifying him.’
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 83: 5
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. They are happy who dwell in your house, O Lord, for ever singing your praise. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
Gospel: Matthew 1: 16, 18-21, 24
Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ. This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.” When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do.
Prayer over the Offerings
We pray, O Lord, that, just as Saint Joseph served with loving care your Only Begotten Son, born of the Virgin Mary, so we may be worthy to minister with a pure heart at your altar. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt 25: 21
Well done, good and faithful servant. Come, share your master’s joy.
Prayer after Communion
Defend with unfailing protection, O Lord, we pray, the family you have nourished with food from this altar, as they rejoice at the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, and graciously keep safe your gifts among them. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
Renew your people within and without, O Lord, and, since it is your will that they be unhindered by bodily delights, give them, we pray, perseverance in their spiritual intent. Through Christ our Lord.
Today, the Church invites us to meditate on the figure of Saint Joseph, husband of Mary and adoptive father of Jesus. From today’s Gospel, Joseph is presented to us as a just man, a man of listening, a man who submits to the will of God. Joseph not only accepted to take Mary as his wife, even though she was pregnant, but also to take upon himself the paternity of a child that was not his own. By this act, he agreed to adjust his will to that of God through an interior attitude of reflection, deep meditation and acceptance. Joseph’s life teaches us to listen to our inner voice in order avoid making bad decisions in life. It was this listening to the voice of God within him that helped him to be a good husband and a true father. May his example stimulate us.