The Word Among Us

Mass Reading & Meditation for March 20, 2023 View another date

Meditation: Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22

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Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity)

Entrance Antiphon

Behold, a faithful and prudent steward,
whom the Lord set over his household. Cf. Lk 12:42


(When it is prescribed, this hymn is either said or sung:)

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,


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Daily Meditation: Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22

He believed, hoping against hope. (Romans 4:18)

No matter what novel you read or movie you watch, there is one element that always makes for a successful story: when the hero faces a seemingly hopeless situation and must either triumph over it or be undone by it.

This is one reason why so many people love St. Joseph, whom we celebrate today. He faced a number of seemingly hopeless situations, and he always triumphed over them. Recall the time when he discovered that Mary, his betrothed, was pregnant with a child not his own. Should he accept her and bring up her child as his own? How would the villagers react to such a scandal? Joseph chose the harder path and took Mary into his home.

Or think of how he undertook the journey to Bethlehem with a very pregnant wife or of the challenge of raising Jesus to embrace his calling as the Messiah. Or remember the time, not long after Jesus’ birth, when King Herod sent his men to kill every baby boy in Bethlehem, and Joseph had to flee with Mary and Jesus. How could they evade trained soldiers? Would he find enough work in Egypt to support his family?

In each situation, the odds always seemed stacked against him, but Joseph continued on. He placed his faith in the Lord and found the grace to stand firm. Or to quote today’s second reading, Joseph, like Abraham before him, “believed, hoping against hope” (Romans 4:18). And he was never disappointed.

That’s the power of faith: it can sustain us and fill us with hope, no matter what we are facing. Financial hardship, family infighting, racial prejudice, chronic illness, you name it. We’ve all faced, or are facing now, situations that appear hopeless. We’ve all faced, or are facing now, the temptation to give up.

So thank God for this poor, silent carpenter from Nazareth! Thank God for his witness of deep trust in the Lord! May we all follow in his footsteps and, through his intercession, find the grace to continue hoping against hope.

“St. Joseph, watchful guardian of the Holy Family, teach me to live in unwavering hope!”

2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24