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“Like St. Joseph we need to be attentive to what the Lord is asking of us.” – Fr. Norman Tanck’s, CSB Reflection on St. Joseph – Toronto, ON.

March 20, 2024

Today is the feast of St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church and patron saint of Canada.  He also is the patron of many causes and professions.  In these days we might see him in a special way as the patron saint for refugees and those seeking asylum and safety for themselves and their families.

After the birth of Jesus an angel appeared to St. Joseph (Matthew 2:13-23) warning him that Herod, to safeguard and consolidate his power, ordered that all children about the age of the child Jesus to be slaughtered. Joseph with Mary and Jesus fled immediately into Egypt and stayed there until Herod died and they were able to return to Nazareth.

Around the world, especially in the Holy Lands, people are displaced by political violence like the Holy Family.  Many come to us as refugees seeking asylum. It is important for us to pray for them through the intercession of St. Joseph, even as we work to provide them safety and shelter, comfort, and hope.

Most of us have not lived with the type of violence and fear that threatened the lives of the Holy Family or people around the world today. But there are things, forces, in the world, choices we made or that were made for us that threaten our spiritual lives, emotional and social well-being.  Lent is a time to recognize those threats and to flee from them. Like St. Joseph we need to be attentive to what the Lord is asking of us, pointing us to where we can find peace and hope. For us that peace and hope is found in God’s love and compassion, mercy and forgiveness.

That place of refuge is found in Jesus Christ who tells us:

“I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3)

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