Fifth Sunday of Lent
Today we’re sharing the example of two saints whose feasts days fell during the week.
As in other areas of Christian life, St. Joseph is a great exemplar for us of Lenten virtues that we would do well to ponder and emulate.
He first teaches us about the silence needed in Lent. The state of the desert is meant to be one of exterior and interior silence, when we remove ourselves from the distractions that crowd our lives with so much noise that we can’t hear God and so much clutter that we can’t see Him. St. Joseph is a man of silence, who didn’t speak a word in Sacred Scripture. Silence is not so much an emptying but an active listening to the God who in silence speaks. In 2005, Pope Benedict stated that in a world like ours, which does not foster quiet and recollection, we all need to be “infected” with St. Joseph’s silence so that we can hear God’s voice.
Second, St. Joseph teaches us about the obedience Lent cultivates. Lent is about learning to obey as Christ obeyed. St. Joseph shows us the way. We see his prompt obedience in his response to God who spoke to him in dreams not to be afraid to receive Mary into his home, to arise and flee with Jesus and Mary to Egypt, and to return with them to Galilee. It would have been easy for Joseph, even in a pre-Freudian age, to deconstruct these dreams according to the standard of his conscious desires. Each dream was asking him to do something life-changing: to alter his notion of what his marriage would entail, to leave his job and his relatives completely behind and journey through the desert; to return once life was settled. In each of these circumstances, however, Joseph obeyed immediately. He teaches us how to have Christ’s obedient mindset.
Prayer to St. Joseph
To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our afflictions, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also.
Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.
As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.
See more about St. Joseph here
Fifth Sunday of Lent
To help you take this prayer to heart, you can pray the words, “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,” every time you do one of the following:
This practice will remind you to see Christ in the people they encounter, which will help you grow in friendship with the Lord.
Lent is a time of spiritual renewal for all of us. By taking St. Patrick’s Breastplate to heart, people will draw closer to God and one another.
St. Patrick’s Breastplate
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Lent is a time to think of others
Times are difficult for everyone at the moment particularly the most vulnerable people in the world. This week perhaps we can help the Lenten Campaign of Trocaire. Trocaire is the overseas development agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, which facilitates. our commitment to the needs of the Third World.
Readings for Fifth Sunday of Lent
The First Reading from Jeremiah tells the people that the Lord will make a new covenant with them, planting the law within their hearts.
A prayer for God’s mercy and forgiveness. (Psalm).
St. Paul to the Hebrews (Second Reading) reminds us that through his sufferings, Jesus gained salvation for all who obey him.
Jesus teaches his disciples about the way in which he will be glorified by God, and a voice from heaven is heard to affirm this teaching. (Gospel).
Today’s Gospel reading is taken from the Gospel of John. We are reading much further into John’s Gospel than we have for the past two weeks. Chapter 12 of John’s Gospel is a preparation for the beginning of the passion narrative to follow.
If Joseph had not hammered straight nails into honest wood
If Joseph had not cherished his Mary as he should
If Joseph had not proved a man both kind and wise would he have drawn with favour the child’s all probing eyes?
Would Christ have prayed Our Father or called that name in death unless he first honoured Joseph of Nazareth?
O God, Who did vouchsafe to send your Confessor and Bishop, St. Patrick, to preach your glory , grant, through his merits and intercession, that what you command us to do, we may, by your mercy, be enabled to perform.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Spirit, world without end.
Lots more Lenten resources here