St. Joseph trusted so completely. He had such a deep faith that he did not question the angel, he accepted it as the Will of God and set forth to spend a lifetime as Our Savior's best friend. He was not afraid. Today's society causes us to implant so many thought provoking messages to each other by our actions as well as our word. How difficult our society makes it for us and our children to trust. "Notice that the angel appears to Joseph only after he decides to do the charitable thing and send Mary away quietly. So it often goes in the spiritual life: God reveals more of his plan to us only if we respond to a crisis with charity". Definitely, our society and its generally reduced morals is a true crisis in need of response of charity. St. Joseph did not question Mary, throw stones at her, make judgments but quietly planned to send her away so not to bring shame to her. So it is, there is hope. If a man long ago could be charitable when society would have given him right legally to choose to do something immorally chose to do the righteous deed, so too can we do righteous deeds in thought, word and action and help change our society for the better. We will go forth out of love for Christ and God will reveal to us through His Will as we grow in spiritual maturity.
During Mass today, Deacon Consley spoke of another man who was charitable in his vocation and who had grown greater in spiritual maturity. He was speaking of Archabbot Lambert of St. Meinrad Archabbey. He told a story of a young priest, Fr. Lambert at his first assignment in his vocation. He was chosen to work as Master Retreat Director and how he begged his predecessor to remove him from this task. Young father explained that after each lecture he found himself in the restroom vomiting because he had so much anxiety over speaking to the masses. The archabbot's response was "I will not remove you because you are vomiting afterwards. It is only if the audience vomits afterwards that you will be removed from this assignment." His predecessor saw something greater in Fr. Lambert than what he could see in his young self. And so Fr. Lambert proceeded in obedience and followed out of love for Christ. Interestingly enough, Archabbot Lambert is also known as an author and once worked with Mother Terese of Calcutta. He was well to grow in spiritual maturity in his ministry.
As the message went on, Deacon Consley easily expressed to us the great need to follow our call out of obedience to God. The word obedience comes from a Latin word meaning "to hear, to listen" and so we must listen closely to hear His voice in our daily commitments to God. We are called to be charitable and obedient and respond to crisis in this way. We do not need to see the end results, we only need to be concerned with leading others as Christ leads us. We are being called to go forth reflecting on these examples and poor out ourselves to others to help build the kingdom of God.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, let us serve you with charity, trust in You and act out of obedience as we respond today and every day to the crisis we encounter in our society today as well as in our own lives. We know that we can see more clearly and hear more clearly when we respond to You out of love. Help us lead others to You and out of their crisis they may be facing.