21 December 2008

Advent 6: The Annunciation of our Lord to Joseph

Today is the final Sunday of the Advent season, marked by the story of Joseph's encounter with an angel who announces to him the impending birth of the Messiah. In today's Office of Readings, we hear from Sermon 2 on Saint Joseph, composed by Bernadine of Siena, a Franciscian friar. In this work, Bernadine casts Joseph in a similar light with John the Forerunner - as the turning point between the Old and New Covenants of God.


From a Sermon of Bernardine of Siena.

A general rule that applies to all individual graces given to a rational creature is that whenever divine grace selects someone to receive a particular grace or elevated state, all the gifts for his state are given to that person.

This was verified in a particular way in the case of Joseph, a great and holy man, foster-father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and true husband of Mary. He was chosen by the eternal Father to be a faithful provider and guardian of the most precious treasures of God – his Son and his spouse – and Joseph carried out this task with great fidelity.

A comparison can be made between Joseph and the whole Church of Christ. Joseph was the specially chosen man through whom and under whom Christ entered the world fittingly and in an appropriate way. So, if the whole Church is in the debt of the Virgin Mary, since, through her, it was able to receive the Christ, surely after her, it also owes to Joseph a particular gratitude and reverence.

Joseph is the terminus of the Old Testament in whom the dignity of the prophets and patriarchs achieves its promised fulfillment. Moreover; he alone possessed in the flesh what God in his goodness promised to them over and again.

It is beyond doubt that Christ did not deny to Joseph in heaven that intimacy, respect, and high honor which he showed to him as to a father during his own earthly life, but rather completed and perfected it. Justifiably the words of the Lord should be applied to him, “Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Although it is the joy of eternal happiness that comes into the heart of man, the Lord prefers to say to him “enter into joy’ to indicate mystically that this joy is not only within him, but that it surrounds him everywhere and absorbs him, as if he were plunged into an infinite depth.


All original material (C) 2007-2010 by Father Robert Lyons.

  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP