12/18/2017, 12.45
VATICAN
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Pope: 'the great Joseph' who 'believed and obeyed' and thus helped God's plan

God told him "'Get up! - Take Mary, take her to your house. Take charge of the situation: take this situation into your own hands and move on.” Joseph did not go to his friends to comfort himself, he did not go to the psychiatrist to interpret the dream ... no: he believed. He moved forward". The Lord needed him to carry forward "the mystery of the re-directing of the people towards the new Creation".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Joseph, a man who "believed" and, without seeking the help of friends or psychiatrists, "obeyed" God and thus helped the Lord was at the center of Pope Francis’ homily at Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta.  He was commenting on the passage from the Gospel of Matthew (1: 18-24), which tells of Mary who was made pregnant by the Holy Spirit. In difficulties, in troubles, in darkness, we learn from St Joseph who knew “how to walk in darkness,” “how to listen to the voice of God,” “how to go forward in silence.”

The Pope reflected on the emotions felt by Joseph when the signs of Mary’s pregnancy appeared after she returned from the house of Elizabeth: He spoke of his “doubts,” his “sorrow,” of his “suffering,” while all around him people began to murmur – the “gossip of the neighbourhood.” He “did not understand,” but he knew that Mary was “a woman of God”: and so he decided “to send her away quietly,” not accusing her publicly. Such was his intention until “the Lord intervened,” through an angel, in a dream, who explained how the child had been conceived in her through the Holy Spirit. And so “he believed and obeyed”: “Joseph fought within himself; in that struggle, the voice of God [is heard]: ‘But get up’ — that ‘Get up’ [which is heard] so many times in the Bible at the beginning of a mission — ‘Take Mary, bring her to your home. Take charge of the situation; take this situation in hand, and go forward.’ Joseph didn’t go to his friends be comforted, he didn’t go to a psychiatrist so that he could interpret the dream. No… He believed. And he went forward. He took the situation in hand. But what must you take in hand, Joseph? What was the situation? What was it that Joseph had to take up? Two things: fatherhood, and mystery.”

First, the Pope continued, Joseph had to take charge of the “fatherhood.” And this is already implied in the genealogy of Jesus, which explains how He “was thought to be the son of Joseph: “He took on a paternity that was not his own: it came from the Father. And he went ahead with that fatherhood and all it signified: not only supporting Mary and the Child, but also raising the Child, teaching Him his trade, bringing Him up to manhood. ‘Take up a paternity that is not yours, but God’s.” And this, without saying a word. In the Gospel, there is not a single word spoken by Joseph. A man of silence, of silent obedience.”

Joseph is also the man who “takes in hand” the mystery. The first Mystery explains that it is the mystery of “bringing the people back to God,” the mystery of the re-Creation — which, as the liturgy tells us, is “even more wondrous” than the first.  “Joseph took in hand this mystery and help: with silence, with his work, up to the moment when God called him to Himself. It is said of this man, who took up the fatherhood and the mystery, that he was the shadow of the Father: the shadow of God the Father. And if the man Jesus learned to say ‘daddy,’ ‘father,’ to His Father Who He knew as God, He learned it from life, from the witness of Joseph, the man who guarded [Him], the man who raised [Him], the man who carried forward every paternity and every mystery, but took nothing for himself.” This, Pope Francis said, is “the great Joseph,” who God needed to carry forward “the mystery of leading the people anew to the new Creation.”

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