Themes of humility, obedience to the Lord’s will, and virtuous silence were at the forefront of The Word Exposed’s 2021 Advent Recollection, held last December 18, Saturday evening.
Streamed live via the Jesuit Communications (JesCom) social media pages, the annual recollection of Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle’s beloved Sunday scripture program featured St. Joseph, and his virtues of trust and reliance on the Lord that ultimately played an important role in the First Christmas and salvation history.
“Pope Francis says that St. Joseph was the protector of the Holy Family and of the Church. He too would protect us from this pandemic. Through this recollection, may we continue to be blessed by St. Joseph,” relayed JesCom Executive Director, Fr. Emmanuel Alfonso SJ in his opening remarks.
In his Apostolic Letter entitled, “Patris corde” (With a Father’s Heart), the Holy Father commemorates the 150th anniversary of the declaration of the foster father of Jesus, as Patron of the Universal Church. To celebrate the occasion, Pope Francis thus proclaimed the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, from December 8, 2020, to December 8, 2021, as the “Year of St. Joseph”.
Recounting the dilemma faced by St. Joseph (Matthew 1: 18-25), who as an upright man decided to quietly separate from Mary upon discovering her with child, Cardinal Tagle explained how an angel’s ensuing message eventually led him to rise up from his slumber, realizing that he was gifted and called by God.
“God was making clear to Joseph, ‘Son of David, you have a place in the life of Mary. You have a role in the fulfillment of the history of Israel. The Messiah-King will come, and you have a role,’” emphasized the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
“The angel wanted Joseph to recognize his giftedness, his grace that will enable him to participate in God’s plan. What is God’s gift to you? So that you too, can rise and play your role in salvation history.”
Referring to the action of ‘taking’, expressed three times in St. Joseph’s dreams, Cardinal Tagle lauded his courage and decisiveness in shouldering the responsibility of safeguarding the Holy Family.
“Taking the child and his mother meant receiving Jesus into his life. From now on, the life of Joseph would not be complete without Jesus. He embraced and took on all the joys, pains, sorrows that would be involved.”
Addressing the plight of migrants and refugees, Cardinal Tagle reminded viewers of the original Advent’s spirit- welcoming Jesus and Mary into one’s life, as well as those ignored and uncared for.
“I hope that during this Advent and Christmas, we may have a welcoming attitude. Be attentive to the people who feel unwelcomed and lonely. Be ‘Joseph’. Get up and take them. Make them realize that they matter.”
Resuming after a short pause for meditation, Cardinal Tagle underscored St. Joseph’s noble act of naming the child Jesus- strengthening their relationship as father and son, allowing him to grow and discover his mission, as he called him by name. As St. Joseph relished his dignified mission of being an ‘earthly shadow’ of God the Father, it was his humility, silence, and courage in the background that ultimately defined his greatness.
“Let us learn from St. Joseph who was an active agent of God in the First Advent. May we learn from him, how to celebrate Advent this year, and the Advent of life. May God bless you all,” concluded Cardinal Tagle.
Watch “The Word Exposed’s Advent Recollection: Walking with St. Joseph during this Advent Season” via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UYoQU_obVc
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