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Lent calendar 19 March

Monu Mrong playing with his granddaughter on the swing he constructed for her in Bangladesh.

When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do.

Matthew 1:24

Today is the feast of St Joseph. This man, who does not even speak in the Bible, has become renowned throughout all ages for his great faith and compassion.

He plans to divorce Mary when she becomes pregnant, but changes his mind when the angel visits him. He sets aside his own concerns and does as God asks of him.

He is a simple village carpenter who becomes Mary’s husband and raises Jesus as his own. He travels to Bethlehem with his family and then flees to safety in Egypt when warned of danger. When Jesus turns 12 and stays behind his parents in the Temple, Joseph goes back to Jerusalem with Mary to find him. Mary says, “See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.”

Joseph shows care for his family, and is guided by God to carry out his mission. He believes in what he is asked to do and does not stray from this path.

Pope Francis writes, “The Gospel presents Joseph as a just man, hard-working and strong. But he also shows great tenderness, which is not a mark of the weak but of those who are genuinely strong, fully aware of reality and ready to love and serve in humility.” (Laudato Si’, #242)

Inspired by the example of St Joseph today, let us take time to listen to what God is asking of us. Let us show our strength in our tenderness for others, especially towards those who are vulnerable or marginalised. Let us be ready to love and serve one another in humility.


Compassionate God, strengthen our faith and lead us to answer your call with love and tenderness for all your people. Amen.


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