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 August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Europe

Archaeologists find a very different type of 'treasure' - a 2,000-year-old toilet seat Watch

Image of Discovered at Vindolanda fort on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Accustomed to finding priceless coins, artwork and historical artifacts, archaeologists in Great Britain have found an altogether different type of treasure - one that was desperately needed in ancient times - a wooden toilet seat, believed to be 2,000 years ... continue reading


Over 1,400 girls raped and abused by Muslims in English town Watch

Image of For more than 12 years a large community of Pakistanis living in England have enjoyed sexually abusing girls while officials turned a blind eye a new report reveals.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over a 12 year period, hundreds of children were systematically raped, beaten and sex trafficked in a northern English town, and the government commissioned report on the incident reveals that it is still going on today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This ... continue reading


Guilty? Corruption case moves forward against the head of International Monetary Fund Watch

Image of Christine Legarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund, who is facing charges currently in France.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christine Legarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and one of the most powerful women in the world, has been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as a French finance minister. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scandalous details come to light over defrocked nuncio's abuse of young boys Watch

Image of Shoeshine boys int he Dominican Republic say that Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski would cruise the oceanfront promenade and offer them large sums of money for sexual acts.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Loathsome details have come to light over defrocked Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican's ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Shoeshine boys say that Wesolowski would cruise the oceanfront promenade and offer them large sums of money for sexual ... continue reading


Archbishop appeals his defrocking for sexual abuse allegedly committed in Dominican Republic Watch

Image of If found guilty in a criminal trial, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic, which has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, from Poland, is accused of child sex abuse while he served in the Dominican Republic. He has since appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal's decision to defrock him, according to the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


SHOCKING: Are there more British Muslims fighting for the Islamic State than for British military? Watch

Image of Many young men facing poor job prospects in the U.K. find the IS narrative of defending Islam hard to resist.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a shocking figure that has many questioning immigration laws. Britain's Ministry of Defense has confirmed that there are approximately 600 British Muslim service members in its armed forces of almost 200,000 people. In a momentous slap to the West - and ... continue reading


British Archbishop demands Muslim leaders enforce discipline on youth or face the consequences Watch

Image of George Carey, a former Archbishop recently spoke on the dangers of the Islamic State, as well as the British Muslims who go overseas to fight for it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A former Archbishop of Canterbury has called for Britons that are fighting for the Islamic State to be banished from Britain. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lord George Carey of Clifton said that Muslims must  discipline their young people, or see them ... continue reading


Pontifical Council Statement on the Violence in Iraq Watch

Image of Let us therefore unite our voices with that of Pope Francis:

By Vatican Radio

No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity. This constitutes an extremely serious offense to humanity and to God who is the Creator, as Pope Francis has often reminded us. VATICAN CITY (Vatican Radio) - The Pontifical Council for Interreligious ... continue reading


British rapper makes 14-year-old girl post sex video online Watch

Image of The girl, who can't be named for legal reasons, accepted a friend request from rapper Logik, whose real name is Kyle Burns.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was a sick incident that highlights what's going on around the eyes and ears of semi-attentive parents. A British rapper who goes under the stage name of "Logik" asked a 14-year-old girl to pose an indecent 60-second video of herself to which he promised ... continue reading


A new tomb may be the burial place of Alexander the Great Watch

Image of This road leads up to a newly discovered tomb which could hold the remains of one of Alexander the Great's generals.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists in Greece have discovered an immense tomb that they believe may be connected with Alexander the Great, whose conquests stretched from Greece to India. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This tomb, which dates to around 300 BC, may have held the body ... 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, Jeremiah 1:17-19
17 'As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:17-29
17 Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 29th, 2014 Image

St. Sabina
August 29: St. Sabina's feast day is August 29th. We know St. Sabina only ... 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