Welcoming the Holy

Here we invite you to take time for yourself in personal prayer. The following spiritual reflection offers words and images which we hope will evoke for you an experience of God. 


Opening Prayer

The promises of the God I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness, For you have said, "My kindness is established forever"; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. Psalm 89



Matthew 1: 18 – 24
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.   


Please allow some license this week. As the patronal Feast of the Sisters of St. Joseph is celebrated on Monday, March 19, we thought it appropriate to offer a reflection on this Gospel rather than the 5th Sunday of Lent.

The words/concepts that stand out from both the psalm of the day and the Gospel are “forever,” “faithfulness,” and “do not be afraid.” The impression a person is left with upon praying with these words is one of confidence in something or someone greater than ourselves and one of being safe. The news in recent weeks can leave us with quite a different sense. Youth around our country and the world have had enough with the violence and mistreatment toward others and are banding together in action and conversation. They are expressing their feelings of insecurity and fear in thoughtful ways. The relationships between leaders of nations is also stressed these days and shake our sense of safety on the national scale.
However, the message from this feast is quite the opposite. No matter the realities that cause us to be shaken from a place of safety and peace, God promises to be faithful. God will be with us forever, not only when we pray or when we sense God’s presence, but ALWAYS. God assures us that we need not be afraid. It is this message that emboldens people young and old to ask others to join with them in efforts toward peace and unity.
As we begin the 5th week of Lent side by side with Joseph, let us pray with and for one another. Let us pray for courage and most of all, let us pray that God be made manifest in love and peace. For your own reflection: What do I ask of God in my search for peace? What do I need from God to know that I am safe?

Closing Prayer                                             

Joseph, in these hard times may we, like you, dream compassionately, provide wisely, and build community that can hold us together. We ask this through Jesus, whom you claimed and named. Amen. (author unknown)