The Message in St Joseph’s Name (A 3-Part Article Series) – Part III – The Last Four Letters

The letter ‘S’ in Joseph stands for Sanctity. What is sanctity? Sanctity is another expression of ‘holiness’. Those who are close to God or who have a developed spiritual life are Joseph Daher  said to display a quality of sanctity.

The Gospel of Matthew referred to Joseph as a ‘just man’. To me, it is just like saying he is a holy man. He practiced his holiness in his daily simple life. The Gospel reflects his charity, his purity, his perfect obedience, his devoted affection for Jesus and Mary, and his humility.

Isn’t it true that when God chooses one for a particular office or mission, He provides that person with all the graces necessary to fulfill that role? Then there can be no doubt about the sanctity of St. Joseph since he was chosen by God to be the head of the Holy Family and therefore he showered upon him the graces which must have been beyond what we can conceive.

Is it possible for us sinners to be holy? I believe that yes, it’s possible for all of us to be holy. God commands us to be holy so it must be possible to live holy. The grace to lead a holy life is there, we just have to ask for it and claim it. But sometimes we fail to ask and instead strive to handle worldly temptations all by ourselves. On our own, we can’t possibly lead a holy life but with God’s grace, I believe we can!

So let us ask St. Joseph’s powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary to enable us to be holy and pleasing to God.

The letter ‘E’ in Joseph stands for enlightenment. What I mean by enlightenment is understanding with the heart. Remember that incident in the Bible when Mary and Joseph finally found Jesus in the temple after looking for Him for 3 days? And Jesus said: “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49) Luke said they did not understand him and Mary pondered all these things in her heart. And I can imagine Joseph did too.

In fact, I think Mary and Joseph both ponder a lot of words from Jesus in their hearts. This kind of understanding is to the heart as knowledge is to the intellect.

We too may not fully understand everything the first time we read or study a passage in the Bible. Don’t be discouraged. Our understanding is a growing process, it increases as our friendship with God increases.

Understand the Word with your heart and allow it to permeate your thinking. Strive to live according to it and pray that God will grant you the Spirit of understanding, to understand with your heart the living word of Jesus.

The letter ‘P’ in Joseph stands for Piety and piety refers to our reverence and devotion to God.
I can imagine Joseph kneeling before the baby Jesus when He was born, full of piety. Even the shepherds were filled with piety as they paid homage to the King of kings. Joseph’s piousness is marked by his fidelity and total abandonment to God’s will.

Pope Benedict XV had this to say about St. Joseph’s piety: “Let us learn from Saint Joseph how to look on passing events in the light of eternal things to come, and seeking the consolation for the inevitable troubles of human life in the hope of celestial blessings, aspire to those with all their strength, resigned to the will of God, living soberly according to the rules of piety and justice.”

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