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Pope Benedict on St. Joseph, the Just Man

By Pope Benedict XVI
March 19th, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

His is a silence permeated by contemplation of the mystery of God, in an attitude of total availability to his divine wishes.

ROME (Catholic Online) - On the Feast of St. Joseph, a patronal feasrt for our beloved Pope who, before taking the name Benedict, was Joseph Ratzinger. We offer our readers excerpts from this address given by the Pope on December 18, 2005: in an Angelus Address:

Pope Benedict XVI on St. Joseph, The Just Man

"I would like today to turn my attention to the figure of St Joseph. In today's gospel pages, St Luke presents the Virgin Mary as "engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David" (Lk 1:27). However it is the evangelist Matthew who gives the greatest prominence to the putative father of Jesus, pointing out that, through him, the Child was legally inserted in David's line and thus he realized the Scriptures, in which the Messiah was prophesied as the "son of David".

"But Joseph's role certainly cannot be reduced to this aspect. He is the model of the "just" man (Mt 1:19), who in perfect sympathy with his spouse, welcomes the Son of God made man and guards over his human growth. For this reason, the days leading up to Christmas are as good a time as ever to establish a sort of spiritual conversation with St Joseph, because he helps us to live to the full this great mystery of faith.

"The beloved Pope John Paul II, who was very devoted to St Joseph, left us an awesome meditation dedicated to him in the Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos, "Guardian of the Redeemer". Among the many aspects it highlights, particular emphasis is placed on the silence of St Joseph. His is a silence permeated by contemplation of the mystery of God, in an attitude of total availability to his divine wishes. In other words, the silence of St Joseph was not the sign of an inner void, but on the contrary, of the fullness of faith he carried in his heart, and which guided each and every one of his thoughts and actions.

A silence thanks to which Joseph, in unison with Mary, could be the guardian of the Word of God, known through the Sacred Scriptures, coming face to face with it continuously in the events of the life of Jesus; a silence interwoven with constant prayer, prayer of the blessing of the Lord, of adoration of his holy will and of unreserved trust in his providence. It is no exaggeration to say that it was from his 'father' Joseph that Jesus acquired on the human level that robust interiority which presupposes authentic justice, the "superior justice" which He would one day teach to his disciples (cfr Mt 5:20).

Let us allow ourselves to be "infected" by the silence of St Joseph! We have much need of it in a world which is often too noisy, which does not encourage reflection and listening to the voice of God."

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