JOSEPH, THE MODEL OF A LOVING FATHER
Last December, Pope Francis invited us to enter the Year dedicated to Saint Joseph. A little later he invited Christians to a Year of the Family (“Amoris Laetitia Family”) that would begin on the feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 2021. I propose a reflection based on these two great moments in the life of the Church.
Pope Francis invites us to see in Joseph “a Father’s heart”. In this beautiful text of Pope Francis entitled With a Father’s Heart, Joseph appears as the shadow of God the Father, he can guide us in this time when a health crisis makes us feel the tension between illness and health. The present times make us feel the fragility of life and the presence of death around us. Joseph was confronted by death and had to flee his country. Even today, so many people are confronted with death. There are also wonderful examples of courageous people who even risk their lives so that their brothers and sisters in humanity can improve their personal and family conditions of physical, mental, social, spiritual and ecological health.
Each person is created in the image of God, a God who reveals himself as a communion of love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Like Joseph and Mary, you and I must constantly learn to reproduce this ideal in our lives, but this ideal is expressed through a journey that leads us from our mother’s womb to the end of our life on earth.
Today we seek to live this ideal by taking into account the present situation and in particular the difficulties that we encounter in these times of pandemic. Questions are coming from everywhere, especially in the abundance of ideas that we find on social networks.
In this year the Church invites us to reflect on the challenges facing our families. The figure of Saint Joseph and the Holy Family should guide us in our efforts to respond together. The media shows us every day the dramas and anxieties of our world. We hear of wars and violence in many parts of the world. Violence in families, feminicide and the situation of too many children who are victims of violence challenge us.
In this context, the Year of the Family invites us to discover better ways of living together and to seek solutions to the challenges of our common home. We need to look together for ways to realize the plan of God, the Trinity of love who created us in his image. Each person is unique and requires special attention in the defense of all fundamental rights.
The present moments reveal a great hunger for God. It is up to us to respond to these expectations of our time by making sure that our words, attitudes and actions remain faithful to the God who created us for love. All together, with our riches and our limitations, we can contribute to making our world a place where this ideal of love, justice and peace becomes more present.