gospel reflection

St Joseph

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On this final Sunday before Christmas our thoughts are directed to St Joseph and his role in the unfolding of the story of the birth of Jesus. The Church has a type of hierarchy when it come to worship. There is an ancient word that means honour or respect it’s the word ‘Dulia’. Dulia, or the amount of ‘dulia’ depends on where a saint sits within a certain order. So, only God deserves or merits true worship or adoration. Mary receives ‘hyperdulia’ (supersized) dulia, other saints get dulia, or basic respect and honour, but St Joseph gets protodulia which means that he is the ‘first’ among the saints to receive respect and honour.

In a world in which exaggeration is rife, the scriptures teach us simple that St Joseph was a ‘good’ man. I would suggest that this goodness however was deeply imbedded in his character. We see this in his desire to spare Mary any shame, and his docility to the will of God who often sent angels to St Josephs in his dreams.

So, perhaps in the midst of the glitter and gloss of this final week before Christmas lets remember the quiet witness of St Joseph and ask for his spiritual companionship as we draw closer to the festival of Christmas.

Fr John

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