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제목 The missions and the greatness of St Joseph- 3st Sunday in Lent (2021.3.7)
작성자 관리자 작성일 2021-03-16




The missions and the greatness of St Joseph -3st Sunday in Lent (2021.3.7)


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서론


Introduction
Since we are in a year especially dedicated to St Joseph Protector of the Church, and in the month of March, I would like to speak today about this Saint, whom God honored in a very particular way.


You know that the Old Testament was an announcement and a preparation for the realities of the New Testament. For example, the sacrifice of Isaac was a figure of the Sacrifice of Jesus; Judith beheading the cruel general Holophern and saving her people from death, was a figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary defeating the devil and saving us. What about St Joseph? Were the mission, the greatness and the power of St Joseph announced in the Old Testament? Yes, they were. Let us consider today the story of Esther and Mardochai, it will give us some insight on St Joseph.


1. Esther and Mardochai: the first mission of St Joseph

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At the time of the deportation of the Jews to Babylon, there was an extremely beautiful young Jewish woman named Esther. She had lost her parents and was living under the protection of her cousin named Mardochai. It happened one day that the king, named Assuerus, looked for a new Queen. Many young ladies were brought to him, and Esther among them. Holy Scripture says that “the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she had favour and kindness before him above all women, and he set the royal crown on her head” (Esth 2;17). Esther became the Queen and lived in the palace of the king. Mardochai, humble and discreet, used to stay at the gate of the palace near Esther, always ready to bring her any help and protection.


Esther was a figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The king was a figure of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He loved Mary above all women and He created her full of grace, more beautiful and greater than all the Saints and Angels. He made Mary be not His wife but His Mother, and the Queen of Heaven and earth. Mardochai, who took care and protected Esther, was a figure of St Joseph. To St Joseph was entrusted on earth the Virgin of virgins, the one whose beauty delights exceedingly the Heavenly court. This was the first mission of St Joseph: to welcome in his home the Blessed Virgin Mary, to take care of her, to protect her virginity and honour, until the time Christ the King would call her to become His Mother. And after the conception and birth of Jesus, St Joseph, humble and discreet, lived near Mary the Gate of Heaven, always ready to bring her help and protection.


This mission of St Joseph over the Blessed Virgin Mary his Spouse is not finished. Certainly, Mary herself is in the glory of Heaven and does not need anything, does not need protection anymore. But St Joseph watches over the honour of Mary on earth. He wants and acts intensively for the spreading of Marial devotion. The more Mary is loved on earth, the more he is pleased. But against those who blaspheme Mary, he is terrible. That is why the devils fear St Joseph so much.


2. Mardochai saved the king: the second mission of St Joseph


Let us continue the story of Esther.
We said that Mardochai used to sit at the gates of the king’s palace. One day, he heard two officers plotting against the king. So, Mardochai reported it immediately to Esther who informed the king and the king was saved.


Obviously this reminds us of how St Joseph saved Jesus, the King of kings, from Herod who wanted to kill Him. St Joseph, warned by an Angel, informed Mary of the danger and all flew into Egypt and so Jesus was saved. This was the second mission of St Joseph: to watch over Jesus with paternal care until He reached the adult age.


This mission of St Joseph over Jesus Himself is finished; but it is extended to the Mystical Body of Christ, that is to say the Church. St Joseph is the Protector of the Church: He defends the Church and all the Christians against the devils and their slaves, and he will do it until the adult age of that Mystical Body, that is to say until the number of the Saints is Heaven be complete. It is good to call on St Joseph for our personal difficulties, for helping us in our material necessities. But he can do much more! He can defend the whole Church against all its enemies; he can help the whole Church in all its necessities, spiritual and temporal. So, let us not be shy in our requests to him!


3. Mardochai is elevated above all the officers: the greatness of St Joseph


Let us continue the story of Esther.
After having saved the king, Mardochai was not immediately rewarded. He continued his humble and discreet life at the gate of the palace. Finally, the king remembered what Mardochai had done for him and decided to honour him above all the other officers. And the king commanded Mardochai “to be clothed with the king’s apparel, and to be set upon the horse that the king rideth upon, and to have the royal crown upon his head. And to let the first of the king’s princes and nobles hold his horse and going through the street of the city, proclaim before him and say: thus shall be honoured whom the king hath in mind to honour.” (Esth 6;7)


It was a bit the same for St Joseph, although he had saved Jesus from death, he seemed being forgotten by God. His flight and life in Egypt was not easy; then in Nazareth, his life was hidden and humble until his death, He the saviour of the Saviour. But after his death, in Heaven St Joseph was glorified above all the other Saints, he was given authority and power over the whole Church of Christ. Since the 16th Century especially, Divine Providence has been disclosing more and more the greatness and the major role of St Joseph in the life of the Church and tells us to have recourse to him.


4.Mardochai saved the Jews through Esther: the power of St Joseph through Mary


Let us come back to the story of Esther.
The Prime minister of the king was named Aman. He was an enemy of the Jews. He accused them falsely and organized their extermination. Holy Scripture says: “There was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, wailing, and weeping, many using sackcloth and ashes for their bed” (Esth 4;3) in order to beg God to save them.


Mardochai of course was very concerned by this situation. He explained to Esther what was going on and, says Holy Scripture, he “admonished her to go to the king and to entreat him for her people” (Esth 4;8). Esther went to the king and beseeched him not to kill her and her people, and because of her supplication she was granted the salvation of the Jews and the condemnation of Aman, the Prime Minister. And so, Mardochai, through Esther, saved the Jews.


Similarly St Joseph saves the Church through Mary. The Prime minister Aman was a figure of the devil, who wants the eternal death of people and the destruction of the Church. The Jews were an image of the Catholics living on earth, facing the hatred and persecution of the devils and their slaves. Mardochai was an image of St Joseph interceding with the Blessed Virgin Mary for the salvation of the Church. The king was an image of Our Lord Jesus Christ who loves Mary so much that He cannot deny her any request, Jesus Christ who wants to crush the head of the devil and save us through the Blessed Virgin Mary.


See how powerful St Joseph is. Because he is the beloved spouse of Mary, he may ask her freely whatever he wants. Because of her love for Joseph her spouse, Mary agrees happily with any of his requests. And because of His love for Mary his mother, Jesus grants Her happily whatever she asks for. So, at the end, whatever St Joseph asks for, is granted by Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the power of St Joseph!


Conclusion:


The story of Esther tells us about the missions, the greatness and the power of St Joseph. In the current big crisis of the Church, in which so many souls are in danger of spiritual death, we must do as the Jews did: as they prayed to God and fasted and did penance to repair for their sins, so we must do; as they had recourse to Mardochai to save them, so we must have recourse to St Joseph with confidence. If Divine Providence made Pope Pius IX proclaim St Joseph to be the Protector of the Church, it is not for fun! It is because God wants to grant our salvation through him. So, let us comply happily with God’s will and let us prepare ourselves devoutly for our consecration to St Joseph on March 19th.






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