Dear OSJ Family,

This weekend, as we celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Lent, we as a parish dedicated to the patronage of Saint Joseph, blessed spouse of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, and foster-father of Our Lord, in prayer, remember our holy patron. Since March 19, 2017 is the Third Sunday of Lent, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph is transferred to the following Monday, March 20. While celebrating the Mass for the 3rd Sunday of Lent, we will remember Saint Joseph in a special way at our parish patronal celebration on Saturday evening.

When we speak of our holy patron, it is important to recall that our good Saint Joseph never drew attention or the spotlight to himself. Throughout the scriptures, Joseph’s voice was a silent one, spoken only in the shadows and his work on the surface was unassuming. We see in Joseph an unpretentious man, who made his living from the work of his hands and the sweat of his brow, but also, and more importantly, we see the earthly father of Jesus who made his mark and earned his place in heaven by his faithful obedience to God’s plan for him and for us all – the plan for the salvation of the world in Jesus the Christ.

The sacred scriptures tell us that Joseph was “a just and good man” meaning he practiced justice; he did what was right in the eyes of God. In obeying God and standing by Mary’s side, Joseph becomes the first teacher of the Child Jesus, and as a loving father he holds him and guides him and teaches him in the ways of justice, faith and peace.

Could there be a better model for us all of a Christian servant? Saint Joseph: good, just, chaste, faithful and true. How so many of us love that our parish bears his name—the first teacher and the faithful servant!

Today let us ask God to give us the courage and the faith to learn from the example of Saint Joseph, so that the work of our hands may help to advance the mission of the one whom Joseph loved like his own: Jesus the Eternal Word and Prince of Peace.

Happy and Blessed Feast day to all at OSJ! Saint Joseph, pray for us!

In the Lord,

Fr Phil Florio, SJ