Blessed New Year greetings to you and your loved ones.
The Christmas season comes to an end this coming Sunday with the memorial of the Baptism of Our Lord.
Though the shortest of the liturgical seasons, the Christmas season is full of many important memorials - the birth of Our Saviour, the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, the Epiphany of the Lord, to name a few.
An important one to the pro-life movement is the memorial to the Holy Family.
Our Lord entered the world a full nine months before His birth and during the early and vulnerable stages of His life, the frail Son of God was conferred into the care of two outstanding people.
Mary tended to the physical needs of her newborn son, while Joseph kept watch ensuring that mother and child had everything they required.
The Blessed Virgin kept Our Lord warm, that he was well fed, slept peacefully, and received all the bodily cares necessary to ensure his development.
On the other hand, Joseph kept vigil at Mary’s side, personifying the words of the English poet John Milton in his19th sonnet, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
Yet, Joseph did more than just “stand and wait,” as he also provided for his family’s needs as a carpenter.
Josephite Prayer: Saint Joseph, guardian of Jesus, chaste spouse of Mary, you spent your life in the perfect accomplishment of duty, maintaining with the work of your hands the Holy Family of Nazareth. Grant your kind protection to those who turn to you now.
And finally, even more significantly than his role as guardian of the Holy Family and as a provider for the needs of his household through toil and labour, Joseph was a man of faith.
He heeded the angel’s bidding to take Mary as his spouse;
He heeded the angel’s further instruction to take the Holy Family to Egypt to escape Herod’s persecution;
He heeded the angel’s subsequent message years later to leave Egypt and return to Israel; and
He heeded divine direction for a fourth time in a dream, by not returning to Judea but to Nazareth.
Is it any wonder that Joseph has become the patron saint of expectant mothers, of fathers, of families, of travelers, of immigrants, and of craftsmen, to name a few?
As for Mary, Scriptures tells us that she is the mother of us all.
26 And Jesus, seeing his mother there, and the disciple, too, whom he loved, standing by, said to his mother, Woman, this is thy son. 27 Then he said to the disciple, This is thy mother. And from that hour the disciple took her into his own keeping. (John 19)
Christ conferred his mother to the apostle John and, symbolically, to all of humanity.
As she doted on Him, she similarly cares for all children of God, and is prepared to intercede when called upon.
In an essay on the significance of the name of “Mary,” Philip Kosloski quotes Saint Bonaventure:
This most holy, sweet and worthy name was eminently fitted to so holy, sweet and worthy a virgin. For Mary means a bitter sea, star of the sea, the illuminated or illuminatrix. Mary is interpreted as Lady. Mary is a bitter sea to the demons; to men she is the Star of the sea; to the Angels she is illuminatrix and to all creatures she is Lady.
As we begin this new year, let us be mindful to turn to Joseph and Mary for help in our personal needs and those of our society.
We pray that Joseph and Mary inspire us in virtue, not only to be present for the women and their infants who seek our aid, but also to discern the ways in which God the Father is leading us to a greater relationship of personal conversion and intimacy with Him.
Quebec Life Coalition
P.S. Wish to help us in our mission of promoting a culture of life. Are you thinking of selling a property? Please consider hiring an agent at Real Estate for Life, where a percentage of the proceeds of the sale will be given to the Quebec Life Coalition. Further details and to register, visit www.realestateforlife.org.