Mumbai Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) | Daily scripture reflection 19th March 2021

Daily scripture reflection 19th March 2021

19th March, 2021
Initiative of the Ministry of the Word group 2Sm.7:4-5a,12-14a,16; Ps.89, Rom.4:13,16-18,22; Mt
19th March, 2021, Friday
Solemnity of St. Joseph
2Sm.7:4-5a,12-14a,16; Ps.89, Rom.4:13,16-18,22; Mt.1:16,18-21,24a

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph.

In the first reading from 2Samuel, we see God making a covenant with David.  The Lord speaks through Prophet Nathan, to go and convey to David the promises.  It is a promise of an eternal kingdom with an eternal king who will descend from the Davidic line. His throne will stand secure forever. The Psalm repeats this promise “The son of David will live forever” (Ps.89:37).  It is a promise that the Jews cling to in the later years when they lose their land, temple and king; a hope that their God will be faithful to His promise.  

In the second reading from Romans, Paul assures us that we are the spiritual children of Abraham and that we must have faith and belief like him.  It is once again a reiteration of the faithfulness of God to the promises he has made to his people.

The gospel recounts the narrative of the vision to Joseph.  There is a parallel with the OT Joseph to whom prophecies were communicated through dreams. As the OT Joseph acts of God's revelation through the dreams, he becomes the one who saves Israel (Jacob) and his sons. Similarly St. Joseph will also save the future of Israel through acting on his revelatory dreams 

In his dream, Joseph is told to take Mary as his wife, even though she was already pregnant.  It is the fulfillment of the promise that God had made to Abraham.  Joseph we are told is a righteous man.  As a devout observer of the Mosaic Law, Joseph wished to break his union with someone suspected of gross violation of the law.  It is commonly said that the law required him to do so.  Unwilling to expose her to shame - the penalty for proved adultery was death by stoning (cf.Dt.22:21-23) – he wishes to quietly divorce her.  However he is told in a dream that the son that Mary will bear is through the Holy Spirit and so Joseph awoke and “did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him”.  He is obedient to the call of God.

Oftentimes, we reflect on Mary's "Yes" that paves the way for God's salvific plan to unfold. But we have in today's gospel Joseph's "Yes" to God's plans. It was necessary for the fulfillment of the promise made to David in today's first reading. It is through Joseph's cooperation that Jesus gets his Davidic lineage (not biologically but legally through adoption)

In the alternative gospel passage from Luke, the annunciation is made to Mary.  Matthew however, writes for a Jewish audience and so it is important to establish the legal adoption of Jesus.  The key element for us however, is that Joseph was a man of faith just as Mary was a woman of faith. Both had annunciations and both accepted what must have been quite troubling but they did so without hesitation. In this way they ensured the fulfillment of the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament, while giving the child a strong faith-based family unit in which to grow up.

The readings today remind us that our God is a faithful God and what he has promised He will deliver.  

Pause to reflect on How God has kept his promise to you and how he remains faithful even though we may be unfaithful. Take time to thank the Lord today.

Happy feast of St. Joseph!