It is the solemnity of St. Joseph who, among his other titles, is both Patron of the Universal Church and of Priests.
Giving thanks to this wonderful man, on earth of such dignity, faith, selflessness, it is also a day, with the tragedy still unfolding in Japan and in Libya, among so much other suffering on the face of the earth, to beg his intercession for peace and healing for the entire human family.
It is a day also to pray for increase of faith.
To help increase our faith I offer the following excerpts from a homily, preached recently by a beloved brother, mentor and friend, Msgr. Thomas Rowland.
By way of introduction Msgr. Rowland was one of the first priest members of the Madonna House Lay Apostolate. He was later recalled to work in his home diocese and after decades of generous service there was able to return to Madonna House where he currently lives and serves:
“…..a thought about the two basilicas of Our Lady of Guadalupe kept coming into my mind….[the] Gospel states so clearly that everything in our lives must be founded on the Rock who is Christ…..We try to keep our life centered in Christ, the Sacramental life of the Church……the two great basilicas…of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The older one….half of the building was built on rock and the other half on sand….half began to sink…..eventually it had to be closed. Could this be, in some way a picture of our lives – partly centered on Christ and partly on other devotions and interests?
…..the new Basilica….goes back to the words of Her Son, Our Lord Jesus – build your building on a rock foundation! This is what they did; a careful testing of the area found a solid rock foundation….
….In our Gospel for today, the devil’s temptations were refuted by the repeated message of Christ: “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God; Do not put the Lord your God to the test; Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” CHRIST MUST BE THE ABSOLUTE CENTER OF OUR SPIRITUAL LIVES! HE IS THE ROCK, THE FOUNDATION, THE REASON FOR LIVING!”
After years of pastoral service in various parishes and his extensive training and work in the area of liturgical practice, Msgr. Rowland wrote a wonderful and easy to read book on liturgical prayer with the title: GOD ACTS WE REACT.
This work is both a tremendous resource for personal meditation and growth in participation in the prayer life of the Church and an excellent resource for parish liturgical teams.
I recommend it highly.
The book is available at: http://www.madonnahouse.org/publications/rowland/gawr.htm