Wed, 18 March 2020
O righteous man called by God
to be foster-father of His only Son
and protector of His Mother,
you who were obedient to the Spirit,
who took Jesus by the hand
and led Him from the temple
to the home in Nazareth
where Mary made a place for Him –
pray that we shall be built
into the house of Abraham,
the man of faith,
into the house of David, your father,
into the House the Holy Spirit builds
for the faithful even this day,
where our Mother waits for us
with you and all the saints;
pray that we too shall hear the words
spoken over you by the Lord:
“Well done, good and faithful servant;
enter into the joy of your Master.”
Pray we shall be righteous
Wed, 18 March 2020
(2Sm.7:4-5,12-14a,16; Ps.89:2-5,27,29,37; Rom.4:13,16-18,22;
Mt.1:16,18-21,24a or Lk.2:41-51a)
“I will be a father to him,
and he shall be my son.”
It is through Joseph that Jesus is a son of David and so fulfills the promise to the king made by God: “Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever,” for He is the heir “raise[d] up” after David “who shall build a house for [His] name.” “In heaven [the Lord has] confirmed [His] faithfulness,” and on earth He has made it known. And so Jesus says of God, “You are my Father, my God, the Rock, my Savior!” and we of faith join His refrain.
As with Abraham, Joseph is made foster father of Jesus not merely by physical descent from David but “through the righteousness that comes from faith.” For as Abraham believed and so became “the father of many nations,” so Joseph believed that it was “through the Holy Spirit that [Jesus] ha[d] been conceived” and “did as the angel commanded him and took Mary into his home,” thus becoming a father to Him who would “save His people from their sins.” Like Abraham “he believed, hoping against hope,” and like Abraham he is blessed.
But, of course, Jesus is more than the Son of Joseph; in fact, this is the great sacrifice Joseph makes. For truly he cares for Him who is more Son to the Father in heaven and Son of Man, born for all the human race. Evident this is when He is found by Joseph and Mary in the temple after three days and He asks them (a question much like those He might have been putting to the teachers of the faith): “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” and in the curious fact that His parents waited a day before journeying back to Jerusalem to look for Him, for they were “thinking that He was in the caravan” – so much a part of His people had He become.
Jesus is Son of God and Son of Man, yet “obedient to them” – Joseph and Mary – He ever was. And they were ever obedient to the dictates of the Father, that they should care for His only Son. And so Joseph, husband of Mary, a simple carpenter, fulfills in simple fashion all the Lord had set out for him. May we, too, by faith fulfill all the care we must take for Jesus, His mother, and His people.
Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.
Music composed and performed by Carie Fortney; used by permission.
O LORD, let us dwell in your House forever.
YHWH, your Son is known as the Son of David, the Son of Joseph the carpenter. And truly He is the fulfillment of your promise to the king that his son shall ever sit upon the throne. But He is conceived by the Holy Spirit: He is the Son of God. Give us the faith of Joseph that we might believe this and take Him into our home.
In our houses He would dwell, in our very souls. Thus would He make them your House, dear Father, as is the soul of His Mother, and the soul of the righteous man we celebrate today. Your Church let us be, dear God; in faith let us ever remain.
Your kindness to us is indeed great, O LORD; your very life you would share with us this day. In your kingdom let us make our home – your sons and daughters let us be. Jesus sits upon the throne now, for He is the Christ. And so, your Covenant stands firm forever: all who believe in Him will be blessed.
O LORD, make us righteous in your sight, even as the humble Joseph. In our lives let your will be done… In your Son let us make our home.