Prayer to St. Joseph for a Happy Death
“O glorious St. Joseph, I entreat you as my special patron in life and at the hour of my death. Increase in me a spirit of prayer and dedication in God’s service. Assist me at every moment to avoid temptation and sin. Help me to live each day in God’s grace and goodness, that I may be always spiritually prepared for death, so I may breathe forth my soul into the loving embrace of Jesus and Mary. Amen.”
“For your sakes I am glad I was not there, that you may come to believe.” The disciples who came to believe in the first Sign of Jesus: the turning water into wine at Cana, are to have their faith grow. Faith is not a static gift but a quality that grows and progresses over time. It is fitting that the 3rd Scrutiny is celebrated today as another step in the catechumen’s coming to a faith profession at the Easter Vigil.
Jeremiah had a thankless task of delivering a message , often of gloom and doom, that the people did not want to hear. He had to tell them how far they failed to live up to the covenant and had to reform themselves. Instead of heeding the call, they punished him and plotted to kill him as we hear in this section from the Book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah had to preach as God wanted him in spite of everything. He had a trust in God. This makes him more like Jesus than any other prophet. Jesus trusted in His heavenly Father explicitly. What keeps us from placing ourselves fully at God’s disposal? Even when things seem impossible, we need to trust in God like Jeremiah and Jesus Himself.
Mohandas Gandhi was killed by an extremist in 1948. The assassin held his hands folded in the Hindu sign of greeting but inside was a small-caliber gun. As Gandhi passed by he fired three shots mortally killing Gandhi. But, Gandhi, when hit immediately put his hand to his forehead in the Hindu gesture of forgiveness. How forgiving are we when others wrong us, not just slightly, but gravely? “If you are suffering from a bad man’s injustice, forgive him, lest there be two bad men.” Anonymous
Today’s reading from Exodus is Moses’ prayer asking God to forgive His people’s transgressions. Do we forgive others? Do we hold grudges? “It is easier to forgive an enemy than a friend. ” Austin O’Malley
Is 40-55 was written during the exile in Babylon when Jerusalem lay in ruins. It was meant to give hope to a despairing people. In the vision, the exile is over and people were streaming back to Israel like a Second Exodus. The passage is full of comforting images. It shows God’s faithfulness.
Two images in today’s first reading: the Temple and the flowing water. The Temple signified God’s presence in Israel; the water signified the blessings given to Israel and through Israel to the world. Christians are meant to be signs of God’s presence and sources of blessings to all. If someone kept tabs on you today, would there be enough evidence to convict you in a court of law of being a disciple of Jesus?