Pause for Prayer: SAINT JOSEPH DAY 3/19

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Today, March 19, is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Mary's spouse and Jesus' foster father.  
This reflection refers to the gospel from today's mass.  
I wonder if Mary, carrying Jesus in her womb, ever turned to Joseph, her betrothed and asked, "Joseph, are you ready for this?" There was at least one moment when Joseph was not ready for this, when he was ready only to quietly break off his betrothal to Mary - until an angel spoke to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, be not afraid…”

Be not afraid – of what? Of taking Mary into his home as his wife? Of caring for a child he knew he had not fathered? Yes... all that, but more than that, the angel was telling Joseph, "Be not afraid of how the mystery of God is weaving itself into your life, into your relationship with Mary and into your whole future. Be not afraid, Joseph, of how the mystery of God will touch your life, shape your life, turn your life around and stand it on its head!

Like Joseph, all of us face times in our lives when God allows things to happen or allows things to fail to happen, that intimately touch, shape and turn our lives around in ways we never dreamed of, in ways we wish we'd never known...  And in all of this, the word to us
is precisely the angel’s word to Joseph in his dream: "Be not afraid because in everything and in all things, God is with you..."

"Joseph, are you ready for this?"  Today's question is this, "Am I ready?
Am I ready to renew my faith, my trust, in all the ways the mystery of God’s presence is weaving itself into my life:
touching and shaping and turning my life around in ways I may never have imagined or prayed or wanted? And am I ready to trust that God is with me in everything and in all things..."

On Joseph's day, let's reflect on his doubts, his confusion, his anger, his regrets, his fears, his concern for his beloved Mary - AND - our own doubts and confusion, anger, regrets, fears and concern for those we love...  Let's reflect on Joseph's faith and trust, his wonder and awe, his handing over to God his troubles, problems and fears - AND - let's pray for the grace to be as trusting, to do the same, to "be ready"
and to be not afraid...

Pause for Prayer
Lord, I come to you today with a heart that's 
sometimes ready and sometimes not so ready
to trust and follow you...
So often my problems, my worries
loom larger than life and back me into corners
where I feel alone,
where I wonder where you've brought me,
where you'll lead me
- if you're even still with me...

My heart needs a dream, Lord,
and an angel with a message
calling me to be ready,
reminding me
not to be afraid... 
In my sleep, Lord, in my dreams
and all day long, remind me
as you reminded Joseph that with you
I can face all things,
accept all things, do all things,
endure all things and even
be ready for all things...

Especially when my life and my heart
are spun around and upside down;
when my sense of direction fails me;
when I fear the path I walk:
remind me then to trust, Lord,
that with you at my side I can be ready
for whatever comes my way
and that I need not be afraid...

I come to you today with a heart
sometimes ready and sometimes not so ready:
but ready or not, Lord, here I come
and here I stand
in need of your love and strength...


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