Usually we celebrate the feast of St Joseph on the 19th March but due to the feast falling on a Sunday this year we will be celebrating St Joseph's day on Monday 20th.
Today is the 4th Sunday of Lent which is also called 'Laetare Sunday' which takes it's name from the word 'Rejoice' which is the first word in today's entrance antiphon. In other words it is the Sunday of Joy. It is a little respite from the penitential focus of Lent. Easter is at last in sight.
We hear in today's Gospel from John 9:1-41 the healing of the blind man and that Christ is the one who brings light into the world. He says of himself, 'I am the light of the World'. Jesus is the one who can heal us of our blindness. That is the cause of our joy. He is the one who has come into our world to dispel the darkness from our lives. Who and what are we blind to? Where do we need the light of Christ to enter in to enlighten us? Ask Christ for the gift of his light today to bring clarity and understanding to the challenging and difficult situations of our lives.
St Joseph was there at the time of Jesus' birth and I am reminded of the beautiful carol, 'Joy to the the world'. I am reminded of his fatherly care of Jesus and his love and devotion for Mary mysterious, challenging and joy-filled all at the same time.
The blind man's sight was restored and he discovered a new found confidence to challenge prejudice and the 'hardness of heart' demonstrated by the religious leaders. He went on to be a disciple of Jesus. One can imagine the joy this gave him. Perhaps we can sit with those experiences in our lives that have been the source of our joy and give thanks and renew our call to discipleship.
Listen to 'Celebrate' track 21which includes the lyric,
Who we are
One in Christ the Light of the World
Ko wai tatou
Whai tatou ia Hehu
Te matapuna o te Ao marama
(scroll down from number 18 on the right hand side to reveal 19, 20, 21)
and Guardian Protector in honour of St Joseph.