FR. ANDREW WRITES:-
Some weeks ago I was in Richmond Park, a beautiful place. It is a vast place not somewhere to get lost in a hurry! All sorts of routes can be planned. Sometimes one thinks one’s going in the right direction only to find one has to turn around unexpectedly. Finding places for refreshment was not so easy and trying to find somewhere to eat was a challenge.
The Gospel today is a simple scene by a well. Jesus is hungry and tired after travelling, he needs to rest. He asks the Samaritan woman for water, that simple commodity. It often helps to have somewhere to rest. As it says in St Matthew’s Gospel, ‘Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest.’ (Matt 11: 28-30)
On Monday we celebrate the great Solemnity of St Joseph! St Joseph doesn’t get mentioned a huge amount in scripture only in St Matthew and St Luke’s Gospel and yet his role was vital. He led Mary to Bethlehem and was Jesus’ foster father. Following the angels advice St Joseph helped guide Jesus and Mary from the tyrannical Herod to Egypt and then after a time back to Israel. Here was someone who protected and looked after Jesus and Mary on their journey in exile attending to their needs and providing for them places of rest. St Joseph was a man ‘of honour’ (Matt 1: 19) who had great humility, closeness and obedience to the Lord. Our Holy Father Pope Francis has a particular devotion to St Joseph. He was inaugurated on this Solemnity on the 19th of March 2013 and on the 1st of May also in that year, the Feast of St Joseph the Worker a decree was issued by the Vatican stating that the name of St Joseph be added to each of the Eucharistic Prayers II, III and IV after Our Lady with the words ‘And Blessed Joseph her spouse.’ That’s how important he is considered to be. He is patron of the Universal Church. Through St Joseph Jesus had his first experience of the Father’s love. Pope Francis apparently keeps a statue of St Joseph in his room which he leaves prayer requests under. In addition St Joseph is the patron saint of families, fathers, expectant mothers, travellers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers and working people.
So St Joseph can be asked to intercede for many causes. If you happen to be lost on your travels in Richmond Park or elsewhere and are looking for a trustworthy guide then invoke the intercession of St Joseph!