Day 8 of the 2018 Novena to Saint Joseph

A Heritage in the Face of Opposition

Opposition, death threats, persecution. The liturgy forces us to face what happens when it comes time to undergo one’s passion.

In the first reading, there is the prophet Jeremiah, misunderstood, abused — somebody they try to get rid of. “Let us hack the tree at its root, let us tear it from the land of the living until they forget its very name.”

In the Gospel according to John, there is Jesus. Put under the sentence of death by the leaders of the people, “Some of them thought to arrest him, but no one put a hand on him.” So he gets away this time, but only till later. Next time, these same opponents will have made up their minds. “Better to have only one man die for all the people… .” (John 11:50)

Opposition: Joseph had a similar experience. No, not about himself, but about the little one whom he had been given charge of. “Herod is about to hunt down the child, to destroy him.” (Matthew 2:13) Once again, he had to improvise immediately. “Joseph got up, took the child and his mother… and went to Egypt.”

Blessed are you, Lord our God. To accomplish your purposes, you were willing to rely on the cooperation of prophets and kings, but also upon common people and upon simple believers like Joseph. They had to be willing to make life sacrifices willy-nilly. They were confident enough in you, to stand firm in the face of contrary winds. They were fervent enough to throw themselves into an adventure, on your word only, without really knowing where it would lead them.

Make a Novena to Saint Joseph, from March 10 to 18, 2018.