Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

3/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The overriding experience we have had of Pope Francis is humility. Humility is the virtue which characterizes St. Joseph

The Lord is looking for men like Joseph who will work in the workshop of the world that He created in order to recreate it anew in His Son. He has found one in the Pope named Francis and we blessed to be alive during this pontificate. In an age that has lost its way, given over to the selfish pursuit of illusory pleasure, Joseph should again be lifted up as a model, particularly to men who desire to follow Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis, while still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, washes feet

Pope Francis, while still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, washes feet

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: St. Joseph, Pope Francis, Feast of St Joseph, Papal Inauguration, humility, virtue, many character, holiness, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - On March 19, 2013, the Feast of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis was officially installed as the successor of the Apostle Peter. I suggest it is no accident that the installation occurred on the Feast of Joseph, the Husband of Mary.

The overriding experience we have had of Pope Francis since his selection is humility. Humility is the virtue which characterizes St. Joseph. The readings for the Feast were used for the installation Liturgy. The Gospel account is most telling.(Matt 1: 16, 18-21, 24 A) It records what can be called Joseph's Annunciation.

 An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream to prepare him for the significant role He would play in God's saving plan. He was invited to exercise his human freedom, to give his assent to the Lord's invitation - and he did. He said yes by his actions. His response reminds us that actions speak louder than words:

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly."

"But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins". When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him." (Matthew 1:18 - 24)

From antiquity, Christians have cherished Joseph as a model of manly virtue. We use an expression to refer to men who are comfortable in their skin. We say of such a man "He is a man's man". That is how I have experienced this Pope named Francis. He is comfortable in his skin. Joseph was a man of few words who spoke through his actions; doing as the angel of the Lord commanded.  In just a week, we have seen a similar pattern of response in Pope Francis.

The Scriptures say little about Joseph. That absence speaks volumes. Why? Because to Joseph, he was not the one who was important, others were. He loved God first. He loved Mary above himself. He was prepared to do the right thing when she was found to be with child. He could have chosen otherwise. In just a week, we have seen a similar pattern of response in Pope Francis. As the stories emerge of his life of service to the poor we see that he is a man for others.

Joseph was a man of faith and courage. He had a close, intimate personal relationship with the God of His Fathers. He was the last Patriarch, completing the lineage. Through his response of faith, he was privileged to hold in His arms the One that His fathers had only longed to see. He was a man of deep prayer which fueled the living faith which is needed to be used by the Lord. Pope Francis is known to be a man of deep prayer. It is evident in his simplicity and Gospel joy.  

There was not an ounce of false bravado or machismo in Joseph. Named after the great Patriarch who was sold into slavery in Egypt; he bore the name with similar humility. As the Old Testament Joseph embraced his lot, rejecting the temptation to bitterness or victim-hood and actually came to rule Egypt, forgiving the brothers who had sold him into slavery; so too this son of the Covenant embraced the One who would establish the New Covenant on the altar of Calvary.

Joseph emptied himself of self - and became filled with the love and life of God. He gave himself fully to God through accepting his unique and specific vocation as a guardian of the Redeemer. The child Jesus, God in the flesh, was given to Joseph. A Carpenter, Joseph taught this child how to work with wood. That was, after all, what he had to give. During these hidden years, Jesus was with Joseph and Joseph was with Jesus. This same Jesus who learned to work with wood from the hands of Joseph would save the world through the wood of the Cross.

Joseph uniquely participated in the mystery of Gods plan of redemption through simply being the man he was called to be. How challenging in an age of narcissism and inordinate self-love. Since the fourteenth century there has been a specific day set aside in the Roman calendar to honor Joseph.  He is viewed as the Patron of the universal Church, of all husbands and of social justice.

He has also been designated as the patron of all workers, this Carpenter who taught the Word Incarnate, the Child Jesus, how to work with wood. This man was the foster father of the Incarnate Word of God and he loved Jesus with an exemplary love which is a model for all men who bear the name Christian.

In an age that has lost its way, given over to the selfish pursuit of illusory pleasure, Joseph should again be lifted up as a model, particularly to men who desire to follow Jesus Christ. In just a week we have witnessed the character of this Pope named Francis and I am taken with how much he reminds me of Joseph. How we need his witness.

Over two millennia, the mission of Jesus has continued through His Body on earth, His Church. He has entrusted the work of that mission to all who accept the invitation to empty themselves in order to be filled with the very life and love of God and then be used in His redemptive mission for the world.

Through the Fount of living water called Baptism, he invites each one of us into His new family, the Body of His Son, the Church. He still gives His message to men who, like Joseph, cultivate ears to hear and then choose to exercise authentic manly virtue and act out of courage. He still invites men to turn the ordinary into extraordinary through cooperation and participation.

The Lord is looking for men like Joseph who will work in the workshop of the world that He created in order to recreate it anew in His Son. He has found one in the Pope named Francis and we blessed to be alive during this pontificate.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Europe

Forced into prostitution: Greece's economic crisis has married women, mothers hitting streets Watch

Image of The situation of Grecian streets is worsening, as many of the Greek women now turning to prostitution don't bear even a passing resemblance to the drug-addled stereotype of the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Greece, at the heart of the European economic crisis of a few years past, has elected the "anti-austerity" organization the Syriza Party into office. Mass unemployment remains, with more than 50 percent on the nation's young people without work. An even seedier ... continue reading


The first tax revolt: 800 years later, the Magna Carta stands boldly as spiritual predecessor to the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution Watch

Image of A copy of the Magna Carta on display.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This year will mark the eighth centennial of the signing of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede near Windsor, on June 15, 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Magna Carta was one of the first documents that limited the power of the English crown, and ... continue reading


VIDEO: 70 years later, drone flies over infamous death camps showing the shocking and HORRIBLE extent of Nazi death camps Watch

Image of The gates of the Auschwitz death camp, which in English say

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In 2015, more than 1,500 survivors of the Holocaust returned to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the death camp's liberation by Soviet troops. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On January 27, event organizers are ... continue reading


FEAR GRIPS VATICAN: 'Islamic State is clear. They want to kill the Pope' Watch

Image of Pope Francis has frequently spoken out against the Islamic State group. The Holy See has also voiced its support for U.S. air strikes in Iraq. This has led several to think that this increases the Pope's likelihood as a terrorist target.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican is under heightened concern that a terrorist attack may be imminent. Iraq's ambassador to the Holy See, Habib Al Sadr, at the time warned that "what has been declared by the self-declared Islamic State is clear. They want to kill the Pope. The ... continue reading


Is Hitler funny? Leader of far-right German party steps down over inappropriate selfie Watch

Image of PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) is a German far-right group which is for deporting or denying entry for Muslims into Europe.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks earlier this month, as well as the numerous acts of terror perpetrated by Muslims throughout Europe over the last several years, Germany is seeing a resurgence of far-right radical groups whose attitudes and ... continue reading


Incredible footage of Lamborghini crashing at 200 MILES PER HOUR! Watch

Image of A Lamborghini Huracan crashed on the M7 motorway going 208 miles per hour. Both passenger and driver survived.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hungarian police have released footage of the first ever Lamborghini Huracan crash at more than 200 miles per hour. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2014 it was reported that a crash over 200mph occurred. A Huracan registered in the Czech Republic hit a barrier ... continue reading


Five bodies found in ancient tomb - could they be Alexander the Great and his mother? Watch

Image of Many experts have discounted the Alexander theory. They say the ancient emperor was more likely buried in Egypt.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists have unearthed bones from at least five people in an uncovered ancient tomb in Greece. Among those discovered was a woman aged over 60, a newborn baby, two men aged between 35 and 45 years of age and another adult of indeterminate age. Since the ... continue reading


If European cities say so - Uber Taxi could create 50,000 jobs Watch

Image of Uber Taxi has been hit with court injunctions in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. Uber has also faced protests from taxi firms in major cities, including London.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Travis Kalanick, chief executive officer of Uber Taxi said in Munich that Uber Taxi could create 50,000 jobs as part of a "new partnership" with European cities. Kalanick says he wants to make 2015 a year of rapid expansion in Europe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Why the Islamic State's systematic recruitment of European Muslims is a threat to us all Watch

Image of Lone Wolf terrorism is a new symptom of the Islamist war against Western nations and their values.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Muslims from countries in the Middle East make up the largest percentage of members of the Islamic State and other radical Islamist groups. Local Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa constitute the core membership of most Islamist groups; but a new trend is ... continue reading


Will Greece's emergency elections spell the end for European recovery? Watch

Image of Protests, violence and demonstrations from the Greek liberal and leftists threaten the fledgling recovery of the struggling Greek economy.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Greece has faced a struggling economy for the better part of a decade, since the worldwide recession hit back in 2008 and 2009, though amplified starting in 2010. Through these turbulent years, unemployment, government corruption and welfare requests have ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:11-18
11 Every priest stands at his duties every day, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:1-20
1 Again he began to teach them by the lakeside, but ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 28th, 2015 Image

St. Thomas Aquinas
January 28: St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church, patron of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter