Honoring the Chaste Spouse of Mary – 7th Sunday

For an introduction to the Seven Sundays devotion to St Joseph, click here.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us!

___ (For earlier week’s prayers, scroll down)___

Seventh Sunday – March 13:

His sorrow when he lost the Child Jesus; his joy in finding him in the temple.

Introductory Prayer

O glorious Saint Joseph,
pattern of all holiness,
when you lost the child Jesus,
you sought him sorrowing
for the space of three days,
until with great joy you found him again
in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the doctors.
By this sorrow and this joy,
we ask you, with our hearts,
to keep us from ever having the misforturne
of losing Jesus through mortal sin.
Grant also that we always may seek him
with unceasing sorrow,
when we commit a serious sin,
until we find him again,
ready to show us his great mercy
in the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Reading: Luke 2:41-50

Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions,and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”

And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them.

Consideration

“Joseph, of whom Mary had just used the words ‘your father,’ heard this answer. That, after all, is what all the people said and thought: Jesus was ‘the son (as was supposed) of Joseph’ (Lk 3:23). Nonetheless, the reply of Jesus in the Temple brought once again to the mind of his ‘presumed father’ what he had heard on that night twelve years earlier:

‘Joseph…do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.’ From that time onwards he knew that he was a guardian of the mystery of God, and it was precisely this mystery that the twelve’year’old Jesus brought to mind: ‘I must be in my Father’s house.’”

(Reflection taken from Apostolic Exhortation “Guardian of the Redeemer”, chapter 15 / P. John Paul II, 1989)

Concluding Prayer
V. Pray for us, blessed Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

(You may choose to pray the Litany of St Joseph)

Let us pray:
Almighty God,
in your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary, the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth, may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sixth Sunday – March 6:

His sorrow when he was afraid to return to his homeland; his joy on being told by the angel to go to Nazareth.

Introductory Prayer

O glorious Saint Joseph,
you marveled to see the King of Heaven
obedient to your commands.
Your consolation in bringing Jesus out of the land of Egypt
was troubled by your fear of Archelaus.
Nevertheless, being assured by an angel,
you lived in gladness at Nazareth
with Jesus and Mary.
By this sorrow and this joy,
obtain for us that our hearts
may be delivered from harmful fears,
so that we may rejoice in peace o conscience
and may live with Jesus and Mary,
and, like you, may die in their company.

Reading: Matthew 2:19-23

When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”

He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod,he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazorean.”

The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. (Luke 2:40)

Consideration

“Work was the daily expression of love in the life of the family of Nazareth. The Gospel specifies the kind of work Joseph did in order to support his family: he was a carpenter. This simple word sums up Joseph’s entire life. For Jesus, these were hidden years, the years to which Luke refers after recounting the episode that occurred in the Temple: ‘And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them’ (Luke 2:51). This ‘submission’ or obedience of Jesus in the house of Nazareth should be understood as a sharing in the work of Joseph. Having learned the work of his presumed father, he was known as the ‘the carpenter’s son.’ If the Family of Nazareth is an example and model for human families, in the order of salvation and holiness, so , too, by analogy, is Jesus’ work at the side of Joseph the carpenter. In our own day, the Church has emphasized this by instituting the liturgical memorial of St Joseph the Worker on May 1. Human work, and especially manual labor, receives special prominence in the Gospel. Along with the humanity of the Son of God, work, too, has been taken up in the mystery of the Incarnation, and has also been redeemed in a special way. At the workbench where he plied his trade together with Jesus, Joseph brought human work closer to the mystery of the Redemption.

“In the human growth of Jesus ‘in wisdom, age and grace,’ the virtue of industriousness played a notable role, since work is a human good, ‘ which ‘transforms nature’ and makes man ‘in a sense, more human.’”

“What is crucially important here is the sanctification of daily life, a sanctification that each person must acquire accorrding to his or her own state, and one which can be promoted according to a model accessible to all people: ‘St. Joseph is the model of those humble ones that Christianity raises up to great destinies; … he is the proof that, in order to be a good and genuine follower of Christ, there is no need of great things – it is enough to have the common, simple and human virtues, but they must be true and authentic.”

(Reflection taken from Apostolic Exhortation “Guardian of the Redeemer”, chapters 22, 23, 24 / P. John Paul II, 1989)

Concluding Prayer
V. Pray for us, blessed Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

(You may choose to pray the Litany of St Joseph)

Let us pray:
Almighty God,
in your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary, the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth, may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fifth Sunday – February 27:

His sorrow when he had to flee to Egypt; his joy in being always with Jesus and Mary.

Introductory Prayer

O most watchful guardian of the Son of God,
glorious Saint Joseph,
great was your toil in supporting
and waiting upon the Son of God,
especially during the flight into Egypt!
Yet, how you rejoiced
to have God himself always near you.
By this sorrow and this joy,
obtain for us the grace that would keep us safe from the devil,
especially the help we need to flee from dangerous situations.
May we serve Jesus and Mary,
and for them alone may we live and happily die.

Reading: Matthew 2:13-15

When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”

Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Consideration

“Herod learned from the magi, who came from the East, about the birth of the ‘king of the Jews’ (Matthew 2:2). And wehn the magi departed, he ‘sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under’ (Mt 2:16). By killing them all, he wished to kill the newborn ‘king of the Jews,’ whom he had heard about.

“The Church deeply venerates this Family and proposes it as the model of all families. Inserted directly in the mystery of the Incarnation, the Family of Nazareth has its own special mystery. And in this mystery, as in the Incarnation, one finds a true fatherhood: the human form of the family of the Son of God, a true human family, formed by the divine mystery. In this family, Joseph is the father: his fatherhood is not one that derives from begetting offspring, but neither is it an ‘apparent’ or merely ‘substitute’ fatherhood. Rather, it is one that fully shares in authentic human fatherhood and the mission of a father in the family. This is a consequence of the hypostatic union: humanity taken up into the unity of the Divine Person of the Word-Son, Jesus Christ. together with human nature, all that is human, and especially the family-as the first dimension of man’s existence in the world-is also taken up in Christ. Within this context, Joseph’s human fatherhood was also ‘taken up’ in the mystery of Christ’s Incarnation.”

(Reflection taken from Apostolic Exhortation “Guardian of the Redeemer”, chapters 14, 21 / P. John Paul II, 1989)

Concluding Prayer
V. Pray for us, blessed Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

(You may choose to pray the Litany of St Joseph)

Let us pray:
Almighty God,
in your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary, the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth, may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

___

Fourth Sunday – February 20:

His sorrow when he heard the prophecy of Simeon; his joy when he learned that many would be saved through the sufferings of Jesus.

Introductory Prayer

O most faithful Saint Joseph,
who shared the mysteries of our redemption,
the prophecy of Simeon,
touching teh sufferings of Jesus and Mary,
caused you to shudder with mortal dread
but at the same time filled you with a blessed joy
for the salvation and glorious resurrection
that would be attained by countless souls.
By this sorrow and this joy,
obtain for us that we may be
of the number of those who,
through the merits of Jesus
and the intercession of Mary the Virgin Mother,
are predestined to a glorious resurrection.

Reading: Luke 2:22-35:

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, 10 and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Consideration

“This rite, to which Luke refers, includes the ransom of the firstborn and sheds light on the subsequent stay of Jesus in the Temple at the age of twelve.

“The ransoming of the firstborn is another obligation of the father, and it is fulfilled by Joseph. Represented in the firstborn is the people of the covenant, ransomed from slavery in order to belong to God. Here, too, Jesus – who is the true ‘price’ of reansom (cf. 1 Cor 6:20; 7;23; 1 Peter 1:9) – not only ‘fulfills’ the Old Testament rite, but at the same time transcends it, since he is not a subject to be redeemed, but the very author of redemption.

“The gospel writer notes that ‘his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him ‘ (Luke 2:23), in particular at what Simeon said in his canticle to God, when he referred to Jesus as the ‘salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel’ and as a ‘sign that is spoken against’ (cf. Luke 2:30-34).

“‘It pleased God, in his goodness and wisdom to reveal himself and to make known the mystery of his will (cf. Ephesians 1:9). His Will was that all should have access to the Father, through Christ, the Word made flesh, in the Holy Spirit, and, thus become sharers in the divine nature (cf. Ephesians 2:18; 2 Peter 1:4)’.

“Together with Mary, Joseph is the first guardian of this divine mystery. Together with Mary, and in relation to Mary, he shares in this final phase of God’s self-revelation in Christ, and he does so from the very beginning.”

(Reflection taken from Apostolic Exhortation “Guardian of the Redeemer”, chapters 13, 5 / P. John Paul II, 1989)

Concluding Prayer
V. Pray for us, blessed Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

(You may choose to pray the Litany of St Joseph

Let us pray:
Almighty God,
in your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary, the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth, may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

___

Third Sunday – February 13:

His sorrow when he saw Jesus’ blood shed in circumcision;
his joy in giving him the name Jesus.

Introductory Prayer

O glorious Saint Joseph,
who faithfully obeyed the law of God,
your heart was pierced
at the sight of the most precious blood
that was shed by the infant Savior during his circumcision,
but the name of Jesus gave you new life
and filled you with quiet joy.
By this sorrow and this joy,
obtain for us the grace
to be freed from all sin during life
and to die rejoicing,
with the holy name of Jesus in our hearts
and our lips.

Reading – Luke 2:21:

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Consideration

“A son’s circumcision was the first religious obligation of a father, and with this ceremony Joseph exercised his right and duty with regard to Jesus. The principle that holds that all the rites of the Old Testament are a shadow of the reality (Hebrews 9:9 f., 10:1) serves to explain why Jesus would accept them. As with all the other rites, circumcision, too, is ‘fulfilled’ in Jesus. God’s covenant with Abraham, of which circumcision was the sign (cf. Genesis 17:13), reaches its full effect and perfect realization in Jesus, who is the ‘yes’ of all the ancient promises (cf 2 Corinthians 1:20).

“At the circumcision, Joseph names the child ‘Jesus.’ This is the only name in which there is salvation (cf. Acts 4:12). Its significance had been revealed to Joseph at the moment of his ‘annunciation’: ‘You shall call the child Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21). In conferring the name, Joseph declares his own legal fatherhood over Jesus, and in speaking the name he proclaims the child’s mission as Savior.”

(Reflection taken from Apostolic Exhortation “Guardian of the Redeemer”, chapters 11-12 / P. John Paul II, 1989)

Concluding Prayer
V. Pray for us, blessed Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

(You may choose to pray the Litany of St Joseph

Let us pray:
Almighty God,
in your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary, the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth, may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

___

Second Sunday – February 6:

His sorrow when he saw Jesus born in poverty;
his joy when the angels announced Jesus’ birth.

Introductory Prayer

O most blessed patriarch, glorious Saint Joseph, who were chosen to be the foster father of the Word made flesh, your sorrow at seeing the child Jesus born in such poverty was suddenly changed into heavenly exultation when you heard the angelic hmn and beheld the glories of that resplendent night.

By this sorrow and this joy, we implore you to obtain for us the grace to pass over from life’s pathway to hear angelic songs of praise and to rejoice in the shining splendor of celestial glory.

Reading: Luke 2:1-20:

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus 2 that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,and she gave birth to her firstborn son. 3 She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”

So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

Consideration:

“Journeying to Bethlehem for the census in obedience to the orders of legitimate authority, Joseph fulfilled for the child the significant task of officially inserting the name ‘Jesus, son of Joseph of Nazareth’ (cf. John 1:45) in the registry of the Roman Empire. This registration clearly shows that Jesus belongs to the human race as a man among men, a citizen of this world, subject to laws and civil institutions, but also ‘Savior of the world.’

As guardian of the mystery hidden for ages in the mind of God, which begins to unfold before his eyes ‘in the fullness of time,” Joseph, together with Mary, is a privileged witness to the birth of the Son of God into the world on Christmas night in Bethlehem.

Joseph was an eyewitness to this birth, which took place in conditions that, humanly speaking, were embarrassing – a first announcement of ‘self-emptying’ (Phil 2:5-8) that Christ freely accepted for the forgiveness of sins. Joseph also witnessed the adoration of the shepherds, who arrived at Jesus’ birthplace after the angels had brought the m the great and happy news. Later he also witnessed homage of the magi who came from the east (Matthew 2:11).

(Reflection taken from Apostolic Exhortation “Guardian of the Redeemer”, chapters 9-10 / P. John Paul II, 1989)

Concluding Prayer
V. Pray for us, blessed Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

(You may choose to pray the Litany of St Joseph

Let us pray:
Almighty God,
in your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary, the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth, may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

___

First Sunday – January 30:

His sorrow when he decided to leave the Blessed Virgin;
his joy when the angel told him the mystery of the Incarnation.

Introductory Prayer

O chaste spouse of Mary, great was the trouble and anguish of your heart when you were considering quietly sending away your inviolate spouse; yet your joy was unspeakable, when the surpassing mystery of the Incarnation was made known to you by the angel.

By this sorrow and this joy, we beseech you to comfort our souls, both now and in the sorrows of our final hour, with the joy of a good life and a holy death after the pattern of your own life and the death in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Reading: Matthew 1:18-25

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.

For our consideration:
“In the course of that pilgrimage of faith that was his life, Joseph, like Mary, remained faithful to God’s call until the end. While Mary’s life was the bringing to fullness of that fiat first spoken at the Annunciation, at the moment of Joseph’s own ‘annunciation’ he said nothing; instead he simply ‘did as the angel of the Lord commanded him’ (Mt 1:24). And this first ‘doing’ became the beginning of ‘Joseph’s Way.’”

“In the words of the ‘annunciation’ by night, Joseph not only heard the divine truth concerning his wife’s indescribable vocation; he also heard once again the truth about his own vocation. This ‘just’ man, who, in the spirit of the noblest traditions of the Chosen People, loved the Virgin of Nazareth and was bound to her by a husband’s love, was once again called by God to this love.

“‘Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife’ into this home; what was conceived in Mary was ‘of the Holy Spirit.’ from expressions such as these, are we not to suppose that his love as a man was also given new birth by the Holy Spirit? Are we not to think that the love of God, which has been poured forth into the human heart through the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 5:5), molds every human love to perfection?”

“Through his complete self-sacrifice, Joseph expressed his generous love for the Mother of God and gave her a husband’s gift of self.’ Even though he decided to draw back so as not to interfere in the plan of God that was coming to pass in Mary, Joseph obeyed the explicit command of the angel and took Mary into his home, while respecting the fact that she belonged exclusively to God.”
(Reflection taken from Apostolic Exhortation “Guardian of the Redeemer”, chapters 17, 19 and 20 / P. John Paul II, 1989)

Concluding Prayer
V. Pray for us, blessed Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

(You may choose to pray the Litany of St Joseph

Let us pray:
Almighty God,
in your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary, the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth, may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

___

* All Prayers taken from the Handbook of Prayers, by James Socias

4 thoughts on “Honoring the Chaste Spouse of Mary – 7th Sunday”

  1. This is wonderful Sr. Lisa!!! And am glad i happened to open my mail (taken so many days without doing so!!!)
    So tomorrow i join all you Sisters and Brothers in this novena. I pray for peaceful elections in my country Uganda (Feb. 13th), i pray that the unemployed may be blessed with profitable employment (i specifically lift up my sister Sharon, my friends Stephen and Samuel), and all the unemployed around the world, I pray that i may be able to obtain the piece of land am trying to pay of for, and that the Lord may provide finances to have a home built. Peace in the whole world.
    Saint Joseph, please deliver my petitions to your (adopted) Son Jesus.
    AMEN AMEN AMEN

  2. Sr, When I was making my 8 day retreat last Oct, I felt like Blessed Mother was telling me that I’d “do well to get to know St Joseph better”, so I adopted him for my patron for 2011. This novena fits right into that & I’m grateful for it. Thx!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,585 other followers