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O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Look.  This is the representation of the Nativity scene from the church Sagrada Familia.  What do you notice at first?  Let your attention now be drawn to the statue representing Joseph.  Look deeply.  Notice his posture, the position of his hands, his facial expression.  What does this say to you?

Reflect.  On this day we remember the life of St. Joseph.  The words of the Collect today remind us of Joseph’s dual roles as guardian of the child Jesus, and spouse of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Consider how Joseph responded to the challenges and difficulties of his situation.  Recall his response to the Divine call to leave his country and travel to a far-off uncertain future, thereby saving the Savior of the world. Bring to mind a time when you heard God in a difficult situation in your own life, perhaps one that was especially confusing.  How has the voice of the Divine One come to you?  How difficult was it to obey?

Act.  Take on an exercise of obedience today.  Like Joseph, listen carefully for voice of the Divine as it enters your very being. Try to perform that action, even though you may not know where it leads. What will you do today?

Thanks for taking part in New and Contrite Hearts. Your comments are very welcome—let others know what you saw and experienced. Until next time, may you have a most blessed Lent.

Music: “Ambient Sonata”  /Album:  Ambient Sonata  /Artist: Dee Yan-Key

Image:   “Nativity”   /Place: La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain   /Artist: Antoni Gaudí /Photographer: Jon Shematek

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