We Celebrate God’s Story and our Stories
The foundations our Christian story begins with the stories of Joseph and Mary. The last day of Winter, March 19th we celebrate the Solemnity of the Feast of St Joseph and in the very early days of Spring, March 25th we remember and celebrate the Annunciation of Mary. The humble blessed Joseph closes the winter season and Mary’s Annunciation ushers in the promise of Jesus and the New Life that we will soon celebrate at Easter.
I have always had a close relationship with Mary and Joseph. As a child growing up in an Irish/German family, I was taught to have a deep love and devotion to St. Joseph and Mary.
We prayed the family rosary and we had to know the mysteries of the rosary and take our turns leading this family prayer time. A frequent prayer of my mother was, “May God’s will be done.” Modeling our lives on Mary and Joseph, we were formed in the attitude of seeking God’s will in our lives and letting God “use” us for His purposes without counting the cost.
God seems to always be carrying out our saving stories through the people who are attentive and listen for His voice. “If today, you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart” says the psalmist. Joseph and Mary are essential to the unfolding of our Faith stories and journey’s by daily listening for God’s voice. Saints Benedict and Scholastica, our Benedictine patrons, tell us to, “Listen with the ear of our heart”.
Mary and Joseph were so in tune with God’s bidding and will in their lives that when the angel came and spoke to Joseph in the dream and the messenger came to Mary while she was doing her ordinary daily work, they both heard God’s voice and God’s request of them. Both allowed God to ”use” them for His mysterious designs for our salvation history. What a blessing for us that these two human and holy ordinary people listened to God for us.
As you and I journey more deeply and intentionally into this Lenten Season, may we desire and strive to be as vulnerable and transparent to God’s presence and will in our lives as Mary and Joseph.
Rose Ann Barmann, OSB