Holy Father points to St. Joseph as an example of fatherly sacrifice
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Before a crowd of bishops, laity and leaders of other Christian faiths, Benedict XVI spoke on Wednesday evening at the Marie Reine des Apôtres Basilica, where he reminded the faithful to look to the example of St. Joseph and his "fatherhood in the daily tasks" of life.

At the basilica to celebrate Vespers or evening prayer, the Pope focused his remarks on the figure of St. Joseph, whose solemnity is March 19.

Explaining fatherhood, Benedict XVI reminded his audience, "To be a father means above all to be at the service of life and growth." He further connected Saint Joseph’s "great devotion" and willingness to "experience persecution, exile and poverty" to his vocation as a father, with his only reward being in Jesus’ presence.

St. Joseph’s example should spur priests to care for the faithful whom they have "spiritually begotten by Baptism and instruction," Pope Benedict said, calling on them to put "the celebration of the Eucharist" at the center of their lives.

He continued speaking to the priests saying they "cannot occupy center stage; [they are] a servant, a humble instrument pointing to Christ, who offers himself in sacrifice for the salvation of the world." This, Benedict taught, is how Origen understood Joseph and Jesus’ relationship to be, "Joseph understood that Jesus was superior to him even as he submitted to him, and, knowing the superiority of his charge, he commanded him with respect and moderation."

Benedict XVI thanked the priests in attendance and acknowledged that "pastoral ministry demands many sacrifices," but is also a "source of great joy" which must be enriched by "trusting in your Bishops."

Calling the consecrated life "a radical imitation of Christ," Benedict XVI expressed his gratitude to the consecrated persons and those "in ecclesial movements" by describing their lives as "significant and indispensable for the life of the Church." He further encouraged them to also look to Saint Joseph who teaches "it is possible to love without possessing" and reminded them to continue to be attentive and "reveal the loving face of God to the poor" and through all the works that they perform.

Concluding his reflections on the vocation of "fatherhood" and the example of Saint Joseph, he taught that the saint "reveals to us the secret of a humanity which dwells in the presence of mystery and is open to that mystery at every moment of everyday life. In Joseph, faith is not separated from action. His faith had a decisive effect on his actions."

We can further learn from Joseph’s fatherhood by reflecting upon how he "stepped aside and left God free to act, placing no obstacles in his way."

"His example helps us to understand that it is only by complete submission to the will of God that we become effective workers in the service of his plan…"

The Holy Father then turned to non-Catholic Christians and spoke about the challenges of unity. In Christ, he said, "we are called to acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters, children of the same Father. During this year dedicated to the Apostle Paul, the great herald of Jesus Christ and the Apostle of the Nations, let us all turn towards him so as to hear and learn ‘the faith and truth’ which are the deepest reasons for the unity of Christ’s disciples."

In closing, the Holy Father offered a prayer to the "spouse of Saint Joseph, the Virgin Mary, "Queen of Apostles." "To her I commend the consecration which each of you has received, as well as your desire to respond ever more faithfully to your calling and to the mission entrusted to you. Finally, I invoke her intercession for your beautiful country."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 18, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 23: 5-8
Gospel:: Mt 1: 18-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27