“The Ultimate Foster Father” Propers for the 19th of March


“The Ultimate Foster Father”

St Joseph is a man of mystery in many ways becuase the Scriptural references to him are very limited and give little as to who was this to whom the care of the Messiah and his Mother was given. We know that he was a carpenter though some scholars say he was a brick mason. According to Tradition St Joseph was much older than Mary and according of historical oral tradition died before Jesus began his public ministry. We know that he protected his wife and new born child from those who would have killed them and we know that he was worried sick when he and Mary could not find the young Jesus who was engaging the scholars in the Temple. Beyond that we know nothing save by legends and by the way legends are not necessarily fiction.
In the West it is not fashionable to any longer believe in the Virgin Birth and in fact some who claim to be Christian refute even the notion of the Incarnation becuase it does not fit into an “intellectually, scientific, and rational” paradigm! Neither does God so don’t worry about these folke especially like Spong and Schori!
God chose Joseph as God chooses us. We are in very good company. Joseph was a working man probably would have been a Union man so yes we see that God chooses not what the world does but instead what is truly important and of lasting value.

Today March 19th in the Western Churches is the Feast of St Joseph the Husband of the Virgin Mary and the Foster Father of Jesus. In the Coptic Churches it is the Feast of the Appearance of the Glorious Cross. In the Mar Thoma Church of India it is Commemoration

of the Memory of Sleeba Mor Osthathios Metrapolitan (Kunnamkulam Arthattu Puthen Palli).

In the Russian and OCA Churches it is the Feast of Martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria, and those with them at Rome: Claudius, Hilaria, Jason, Maurus, Diodorus the Presbyter, and Marianus the Deacon (283). St. Innocent of Komel’, disciple of St. Nilus of Sora (Vologdá—1521). Martyr Pancharius, at Nicomedia (ca. 302).

The Collect for the Feast of St Joseph taken from the Roman Church Lectionary

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that by Saint Joseph’s intercession your Church may constantly watch over the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation, whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

The Apostolic and Gospel Readings are taken from the American Episcopal Church and International Lectionaries.

Romans 4:13-18

The promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”) — in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.”

Luke 2:41-52

Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

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