Monday, March 19, 2012

Pondering of Grace: The Feast of St. Joseph

As a special treat for St. Joseph's Day, I'll be offering two blog posts (hopefully) for the price of one.  What follows is a prayer starter that I wrote for our congregation retreat house, St. Mary's-by-the-Sea. I hope that it brings insight within you on this feast of St. Joseph.

"How are you related to Saint Joseph?" 

That was the question that was directed at me by a second grader a few months ago during a vocation day at Visitation school in Kensington. I had prepared answers for a lot of questions, almost all of which I am still trying to figure out, but that was not one that was on my list.
I knew exactly what that seven year old was asking-if all of us in front of the class were sisters, then we must somehow be related. And if we were all sisters, then it wasn't too far-fetched to believe that surely we were sisters of Saint Joseph, too. My answer was short and simple (and seemed to satisfy the student's intrigue), yet, on this the feast of Saint Joseph, I return to that question which has remained on my heart since that day.
How am I related to Saint Joseph? As one who casts my lot in with Jesus and chooses to associate my name with that of Joseph, who do I say that I am?

Am I the dreamer?
          ...the comforter?
                      ...the diligent worker?
                                ... the caring teacher?
                                         ...the faithful spouse?
                                                 ...the one who goes where I am called?
                                                          ...whose actions speak far beyond words?

Christ asked his disciples early on, "Who do you say that I am?" In our living lives of faith we answer that question daily by laying claim to the person that we are in Christ. As we celebrate Saint Joseph, individually and communally, let us consider what it means to be sisters (and brothers) of Saint Joseph. How do we embody the person who helped to form Jesus? How are we living our call? And what might the Divine be inviting us to by giving us the example of Joseph to live our lives by and find God in during this season of Lent and every day of our lives?

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