Thursday of 3rd Week of Lent A--Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Do Not Be Afraid

Joke: A man from the U.S. took his family to Israel to see the places where Jesus had lived and died. He was forced to include his troublesome mother-in-law in the tour party. While in the Holy Land, his mother-in-law died. An undertaker in Tel Aviv explained that he could ship the body home to Wisconsin at a cost of $10,000 or the body could be buried in Israel for US $500. The man says, "We'll ship her home." The undertaker asks, "Are you sure? That's an awfully big expense and we can do a very nice burial here right in the Valley of Josephat." The man replies, "Look, 2000 years ago they buried Jesus here and three days later he rose from the dead. Besides, during his public ministry he raised Lazarus from the tomb. I can feel his invisible presence all over here in the Holy Land. So I just can't take that chance in the case of my mother-in-law."

“Do not be afraid” was a message that the angel announced to Saint Joseph, the son of Jacob and the husband of Mary reported in today’s Gospel. In his dream, Joseph was advised to take Mary who was found with child through the power of the Holy Spirit. When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

We all know who Joseph is and why he does what the angel tells him in his dream reported in today’s Gospel. However, how did he hear the message of the angel? What gave him that courage and strength to take Mary who was found with child not by him to bring her into his home?

In order to hear the message of an angel in a dream, one must have an intimate relationship with the Lord through prayer life. His prayer life might not be all about verbally pray every day, but his prayer life must be a reflection and meditation on the words of God. His prayer life has to be persistent that gave him courage and strength to respond to the invitation of an angel to bring Mary into his home.

How is your prayer life? Is your prayer life just verbally addressing your personal needs and concerns? We all pray to address our concerns and our needs, but have we taken time to meditate or reflect in our prayer life? What if God sent his angel to come to us in our sleep to answer our prayer, have you and I been able to listen and to follow what the angel might tell us in our sleep? Saint Joseph was not only able to hear the message of an angel in the middle of his sleep, but he had courage and strength to take Mary into his home after he awoke. Have you and I had enough courage and strength to live out our faith that we professed at our baptism to be priest, prophet and king? What does it mean to be priest, prophet and king for you?


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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