By Deborah Castellano Lubov

St. Joseph entered into the mystery, and did so with concreteness…

Pope Francis gave this reminder today, March 19, the great saint’s feast day, which in Italy and other countries also marks Father’s Day, as he offered his private daily Mass at his residence Casa Santa Marta for the victims of Coronavirus, and spoke about the saint.

In today’s homily, the Holy Father commented on today’s readings and on the holiness of St. Joseph, reported Vatican News.

“This is Joseph’s holiness,” Francis said, “to carry on his life, his craft with justice, with professionalism and, at the moment, to enter in the mystery.”

When the Gospel speaks to us of Joseph’s dreams, the Jesuit Pope explained that it makes us understand that Joseph enters into the mystery.

“On this Solemnity of Saint Joseph,” the Holy Father said, “I think of the Church today — of our faithful, our Bishops, our priests, our consecrated men and women, the Popes: are they capable of entering in the mystery? Or do they need to regulate themselves according to the prescriptions that defend them from what they cannot control?”

“When the Church loses the possibility of entering in the mystery,” he warned, “She loses the capacity to adore.”

A prayer of adoration, the Pope said, can only happen when one enters in the mystery of God.

“Let us ask the Lord for the grace that the Church may be able to live in the concreteness of daily life and also in the “concreteness” — in quotation marks — of the mystery,” Francis prayed.

Before concluding the Mass, the Pope exhorted faithful to partake in Spiritual Communion in this difficult time, and ended the celebration with Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction.

Here are the Holy Father’s words, followed by the prayer for Spiritual Communion:

I prostrate myself at your feet, O my Jesus, and I offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abases itself in its nothingness in Your Holy Presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your Love; I desire to receive You in the poor abode that my heart offers You. While waiting for the happiness of a Sacramental Communion, I want to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, that I may come to You. May Your Love inflame my whole being, in life and in death. I believe in You, I hope in You, I love You. Amen.

The Masses in Francis’ chapel normally welcome a small group of faithful, but due to recent measures’ taken by the Vatican, are now being kept private, without their participation.

It was announced in recent days that the Pope would have these Masses, in this period, be available to all the world’s faithful, via streaming on Vatican Media, on weekdays, at 7 am Rome time.

This comes at a time too when the Italian bishops’ conference has canceled public Masses throughout the nation, until at least April 3rd, following guidelines put out by Italian authorities. The entire country is on lockdown.

FEATURE: The Feast of St. Joseph — Also Father’s Day — Which Would Have Been Celebrated in Rome

Francis today invited faithful watching him via streaming to join him in praying today for prisoners.

In addition to Santa Marta, the Vatican is taking other steps to discourage crowds and keep people safe. They are televising the Pope giving privately, from the papal library, his weekly Angelus and General Audience addresses.

Moreover, the Vatican Museums are now closed, along with the Vatican’s other similar museums. There have also been various guidelines implemented throughout the Vatican, to prevent the spread of the virus.

To date, one person, an external visitor, has been tested positive for Coronavirus in the Vatican. The five people the individual had contact with, are being quarantined.

For anyone interested, the Pope’s Masses at Santa Marta can be watched live and can be watched afterward on Vatican YouTube. Below is a link to today’s Mass. Also, a ZENIT English translation of the Pope’s full homily can be read below:

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FULL HOMILY

The Gospel (Matthew 1:16.18-21.24) tells us that Joseph was “just,” namely, a man of faith, who lived the faith. A man who could be numbered in the list of all those people of faith that we remembered today in the Office of Readings (Cf. Letter to the Hebrews, chapter 11); those people that lived the faith as foundation of what is hoped for, as guarantee of what is not seen, and the proof of what is not seen.

Joseph is a man of faith: therefore, he was “just.” Not only because he believed but also because he lived this faith — a “just” man. He was chosen to educate a man who was true Man but who was also God: a man-God was needed to educate such a man, but there wasn’t one. The Lord chose a “just” , a man of faith; a man capable of being man and also capable of speaking with God, of entering the mystery of God. And this was Joseph’s life: to live his profession, his life as man and to enter in the mystery; a man capable of speaking with the mystery, of conversing with the mystery of God. He wasn’t a dreamer; he entered in the mystery, with the same nature with which he carried out his craft, with the precision of his craft: he was capable of adjusting an angle milli-metrically on the wood, he knew how to do it; he was capable of lowering, of reducing a millimetre of wood, of the surface of a of wood. As just, he was precise, but he was also capable of entering in the mystery that he couldn’t control.

This is Joseph’s holiness: to carry on his life, his craft with justice, with professionalism and, at the moment, to enter in the mystery. When the Gospel speaks to us of Joseph’s dreams, it makes us understand this: he enters in the mystery.

On this Solemnity of Saint Joseph, I think of the Church today — of our faithful, our Bishops, our priests, our consecrated men and women, the Popes: are they capable of entering in the mystery? Or do they need to regulate themselves according to the prescriptions that defend them from what they cannot control? When the Church loses the possibility of entering in the mystery, she loses the capacity to adore. A prayer of adoration can only happen when one enters in the mystery of God.

Let us ask the Lord for the grace that the Church may be able to live in the concreteness of daily life and also in the “concreteness” — in quotation marks — of the mystery. If she can’t do it, she will be half a Church; she will be a pious association, carried forward by prescriptions but without the sense of adoration. To enter in the mystery isn’t to dream; to enter in the mystery is precisely this: to adore. To enter in the mystery is to do today what we will do in the future, when we come into the presence of God: adore.

May the Lord grant this grace to the Church.

Before ending the Mass, the Pope exhorted to Spiritual Communion in this difficult time, given the coronavirus pandemic, which, in Italy, has caused the suspension of Masses with the participation of the faithful, to avoid all contagion. Pope Francis ended the celebration with Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction.

Here are the Holy Father’s words, followed by the prayer for Spiritual Communion:

I invite all those that are distant and follow the Mass on television, to make a Spiritual Communion.

I prostrate myself at your feet, O my Jesus, and I offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abases itself in its nothingness in Your Holy Presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your Love; I desire to receive You in the poor abode that my heart offers You. While waiting for the happiness of a Sacramental Communion, I want to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, that I may come to You. May Your Love inflame my whole being, in life and in death. I believe in You, I hope in You, I love You. Amen.

[ZENIT translation of Pope Francis’ full homily at Santa Marta]

The post St. Joseph’s Holiness: Entering into the Mystery, Concreteness–Pope Francis Reminds at Santa Marta (Full Text) appeared first on ZENIT – English.

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