Fourth Sunday of Lent

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Dear Friends,

When we come to Eucharistic Adoration, when we come to pray in the presence of the Eucharist within the monstrance, or we come and sit in the church before the Eucharist housed in the tabernacle, in doing these acts of worship, we imitate our patron St. Joseph.  His vocation was one of perpetual adoration.  He kept his eyes on Jesus, even before Jesus was born he kept his eyes on Jesus, first by caring for Mary and watching over her, the first Tabernacle, and then after his birth protecting, housing, feeding, teaching, and loving Jesus.

As we know Joseph and Mary find Jesus after three days, they find him in the Temple.  But when we think about it, they’ve had the new Temple with them for 12 years.  They’ve adored him already for 12 years.  Focusing on our patron, St. Peter Julian Eymard put it this way, “St. Joseph was the first adorer, the first religious.  Although he never adored our Lord under the Eucharistic species and never had the happiness of receiving Holy Communion, he did possess and adore Jesus in human form.”  He goes on to say, “In Joseph, we find the perfect adorer, entirely consecrated to Jesus, working always near Jesus, giving Jesus his virtues, his time, his very life; it is thus that he is our model and our inspiration.”

St. Joseph was an adorer of great faith.  When he looked at Jesus he saw human flesh, but in his heart he believed, “Here is God!”  We pray to have that same faith, when we look at the Eucharist, we see bread, but in our hearts we believe, “Here is God!”  Under the veil of Bread our faith must see our Lord.  Ask St. Joseph for his lively and constant faith.  Pray for us St. Joseph to have the faith you had here on earth.

In 1997 Pope St. John Paul II conducted a papal visit to the Shrine of St. Joseph in Kalisz in Poland and he told those in attendance that, before each of his Masses, he prayed the following prayer to St. Joseph.

O happy man, St. Joseph, whose privilege it was not only to see and hear that God whom many a king has longed to see, yet saw not, longed to hear, yet heard not, but also to carry him in your arms and kiss him, to clothe him and watch over him!                 O God, who has conferred upon us a royal priesthood, we pray to you to give us grace to minister at your holy altars with hearts as clean and lives as blameless as that blessed Joseph who was found to hold in his arms and, with all reverence, carry your only-begotten Son, born of the Virgin Mary.  Enable us this day to receive worthily the sacred Body and Blood of your son, and equip us to win an everlasting reward in the world to come.  Amen

Peace and all good,

Fr. Christopher J. Ankley