One Bread, One Body - Reflection for March 20, 2017


"When Joseph awoke he did as the angel of the Lord had directed him and received her into his home as his wife." –Matthew 1:24

In 1870, "a difficult time in the Church's history, Pope Pius IX, wishing to place her under the powerful patronage of the holy patriarch Joseph, declared him 'Patron of the Catholic Church' " (Guardian of the Redeemer, Pope St. John Paul II, 28). In 1889, Pope Leo XIII explained further what the Holy Spirit was doing through Pope Pius IX nineteen years previously: "In the same way that he (Joseph) once kept unceasing holy watch over the family of Nazareth, so now does he protect and defend with his heavenly patronage the Church of Christ" (ibid, 28). Moreover, Pope St. John Paul II, on the hundredth anniversary of Pope Leo's teaching on Joseph, taught: Joseph's "patronage must be invoked as ever necessary for the Church, not only as a defense against all dangers, but also, and indeed primarily, as an impetus for her renewed commitment to evangelization in the world" (Guardian of the Redeemer, 29). Thus, St. Joseph is patron of the Church as her guardian and as "an impetus for her renewed commitment to evangelization."

In his fatherly love for the members of the Church, St. Joseph calls us to complete obedience, particularly to a "renewed commitment to evangelization." If you love Jesus and St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus and patron of the Church, let St. Joseph be an impetus to evangelize zealously.

PRAYER: Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me St. Joseph's part in Your plan of salvation.
PROMISE: "All depends on faith, everything is grace. Thus the promise holds true for all Abraham's descendants." –Rm 4:16
PRAISE: Throughout his life, St. Joseph behaved exactly as "the Lord had directed him" (Mt 1:24). Praise You, Lord, for St. Joseph, the man of faith.

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Reprinted with permission from Presentation Ministries, a lay association of the Catholic Church that focuses on evangelization and discipleship through Bible teaching, daily Mass, the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and Small Christian Community. Their ministries include:

· One Bread, One Body
· Daily Bread Radio Program
· Annual Bible Institute
· Discipleship Retreats
· Guadalupe Bible College