Rogier van der Weyden: St. Joseph (fragment), Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, 1445
Readings for Mass
First Reading: Second Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
Second Reading: Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
Gospel: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24, or Luke 2:41-51
When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him (NRSV, Mt 1:24a)
Let us pray.
Father, all who believe, who accept you in faith are your children. You offer a share in your divine life to all who will accept it and make it their own. On this solemnity of St. Joseph we look to St. Joseph as a model of faith because he trusted in your revelation, perceived as spoken to him in dreams by the presence of an angel.
Father, you speak your one Word to all of us at the depth of our being, from the first moment of our existence, the same Word that we then hear at every moment of our lives.
To each of us, according to our time and place and our history, this same one Word is appropriately heard. To Joseph it was to care for Jesus, to Abraham to come forth from Mesopotamia, to Moses to lead the people out of slavery in Egypt.
Because of circumstances, many have difficulty acknowledging you, Father, as the source of this Word spoken to us, or even to acknowledge the Word, especially the Word made flesh. Many who have said “yes” to you by committing themselves to a life of Love do not recognize that Love is your Holy Spirit living in them, or much less that you are the source of that Spirit always given through the Word.
Father, we pray that we shall always be a people of faith, trusting in you and committing ourselves to you. May more of your children come to conscious realization of your grace working in them.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.