THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: A MESSAGE FROM ST. JOSEPH
“When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit'” (Matt. 1:18-20).
Welcome to the pious month of May. It is heavily loaded with series of spiritual exercises. Enjoy it as we begin with the celebration of the gift of Work. Work as exemplified by St. Joseph, graced by the Blessed Virgin Mary and ultimately coming with the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life.
Our school of the Holy Spirit reveals the silent figure of St. Joseph in the events of the Holy Family and the history of our salvation. To buttress the foregoing point, the New Testament Gospel did not record any verse for St. Joseph. Yet, the influence of St. Joseph on the life of the Holy Family and our spiritual life is enormous. Praying reflectively with the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary exposes the fact that the Holy Spirit and St. Joseph operated in one accord for the good and welfare of the Holy Family and for our salvation. For example, from the Annunciation scene, the Virgin Mary was already betrothed but only to be found pregnant. St. Joseph respected the angelic message that said that the child was from the Holy Spirit, and respectfully took Mother Mary as his wife, served and protected her and the Child Jesus. St. Joseph -Pray for us!
In view of the foregoing words, we find the core message of St. Joseph to us in the School of the Holy Spirit. Our entire life subsist in the grace of God. Grace of God in the sense that the love of God which has been poured forth into the human heart through the Holy Spirit molds the love of God in us towards perfection and the fulfilment of all that we need (cf. Rm. 5:5). Applied to St. Joseph, he was chosen by God to be the protector and guardian of His greatest treasure, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
St. Joseph’s life confirms the theological rule that says, God favours a person with special grace to accept a lofty mission and vocation. God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfill the task at hand. Put differently, God chooses the unqualified to qualified them. We can verify the above expressions in the life of St. Joseph as God the Father in the Holy Spirit, enthroned him above the angels to care and serve Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother Mary. St. Joseph remained faithful to death and he was rewarded by the saying: “Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.”
Dear friends in Christ, what we have exposed about St. Joseph also applies to you and me. According to St. Paul, we are called and equipped differently in order for mission in the Church, the family and society (Eph. 4:12). The example of St. Joseph reveals that when God calls a person, He equips the person with gifts, charisms and ministries through the Holy Spirit. However, it is true that sometimes we do not connect with the fact that Eckhart Tolle projects, “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are.” Therefore, we need to ask the Holy Spirit again and again for gifts to fulfil our purpose in life. This time ask the Holy Spirit, through the intercession of St. Joseph. St. Teresa of Avila is a special devotee of St. Joseph and we can emulate her by seeking the gifts of the Holy Spirit through St. Joseph.
MAY DEVOTION DAY 1 (HOLY ROSARY AND THE TWO PRAYERS OF POPE FRANCIS)
Welcome to the special month of our Blessed Mother Mary. May devotions are geared toward reflecting on the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What is true about her and what is her role in the salvation of humankind? What is her place in your spiritual life? I pray that you will experience a special encounter with Our Lady and in doing so she may share with you her Heavenly blessings for you to testify about her Son and her maternal intercessions. Amen.