Model of Service: Saint Joseph shows Faithfulness in Service

by Deacon Tim Sullivan

Saint Joseph is a wonderful model of service, because virtually all we know about him is from what he did, not what he said, for he is not quoted in the Bible as saying anything.

He is also a model of dealing with dramatic changes in his expectations. He becomes betrothed to Mary, but learns she is with child. As a righteous man, one who follows the Mosaic Law, he intends to divorce her. His dreams of a rich, faithful marriage appear to have been dashed.

Then begins a serious of revelations by angels in Joseph’s dreams. The angel first tells Joseph that he should proceed with the marriage, that Mary has conceived a child by the Holy Spirit, that the child will be a savior and that Joseph should name the child Jesus. Joseph does as the angel instructed.

After the birth of Jesus and the departure of the magi, Joseph is again instructed by an angel in a dream to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt for safety and await further instructions. He does so.

In Egypt, an angel again appears to Joseph in a dream and directs Joseph to take Mary and Jesus back to Israel. Joseph takes his family in the direction of Judea. However, he has a new dream in which he is warned that Judea is not safe. They go to Nazareth, in Galilee.

Joseph’s own dreams, his desire to have a normal married life with Mary, to have his own children, quickly give way to a whole new plan. He agrees to sacrifice his own plan, his own desires, to take on the role of protecting Mary and her miracle child.

In his openness and fidelity to God’s plan, Joseph is a great example of service to all Christians, and especially to all who are called to the vocation of fatherhood.

 

Stewardship Service Challenges

 

Week 1:  Joseph was a just man who faithfully followed the promptings of the Spirit. This Lenten season let us open our hearts to the directives of the Holy Spirit and act faithfully to fulfill God’s will.

This week, think about ways in which you serve the Lord faithfully. Is there a charitable activity that you faithfully fulfill daily, weekly, or monthly? Do you serve the Lord by spending time on a regular basis reading his word, praying, or listening for his voice? If not, how can you challenge yourself to be more faithful in serving God and others?

 

Week 2:  Joseph was a just man who faithfully followed the promptings of the Spirit. This Lenten season let us open our hearts to the directives of the Holy Spirit and act faithfully to fulfill God’s will.

This week make the commitment to go to confession and give yourself the opportunity to experience God’s healing forgiveness and faithful promises to you through the person of our priests. Thank our priests for their faithful service to our parish.

 

Week 3:  Joseph was a just man who faithfully followed the promptings of the Spirit. This Lenten season let us open our hearts to the directives of the Holy Spirit and act faithfully to fulfill God’s will.

This week respond to a need that has been nagging you, one that you have ignored. Is it the Holly Spirit calling you to be faithful to your vows? Challenge yourself to do that thing which you have been avoiding.

 

Week 4:  Joseph was a just man who faithfully followed the promptings of the Spirit. This Lenten season let us open our hearts to the directives of the Holy Spirit and act faithfully to fulfill God’s will.

As we approach Easter, deepen your faith by committing to serve the Lord and others in a new way. Volunteer for a ministry, sign-up to attend an ACTS retreat, start a conversation with a parishioner that you do not know, write a note of encouragement to someone who is struggling emotionally, or do a random act of kindness.

 

 

 

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