As we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, we remember a man whose life, beginning with his engagement to Mary, was filled with worries, doubt, fear and uncertainty. As husband and Jesus’ foster father, he experienced confusion, the plight of a refugee, and the threat of political terrorism.
Joseph faced the events in his life by trusting in God and by listening to the many ways God would lead him. Particularly, Scripture tells us, Joseph was a just and tender man; he was faithful to right relationships even at the risk of being judged harshly. He could have had Mary condemned, but he “did not want to expose her publicly.”
Joseph models so much for us as we live through days of worry, anxiety and uncertainty. May his life and witness inspire and strengthen us.
Response: Joseph, teach us the way.*
In times we face difficult situations and dilemmas*
In times we struggle with strained or broken relationships*
In times we are challenged to go beyond the ordinary to do the extraordinary*
In times we are called to face the different and unexpected*
In times we find it hard to keep moving forward in the midst of confusion and anxiety*
In times we need guidance to be both just and merciful, upright and tender.*
In this time of COVID-19, we pray:
Loving God, when we aren’t sure, help us be calm;
when information comes from all sides, correct and not, help us discern;
help us reach out with our hearts when we can’t reach out with our hands;
help us be socially connected when we have to be socially distant;
help us love as perfectly as we can knowing that “perfect love casts out fear.”
For the doctors, nurses, technicians, aides, caregivers and janitors, we pray.
For the researchers and theorists, epidemiologists and investigators, we pray.
For those who are sick, grieving and all affected around the world, we pray.
For safety, health and wholeness, we pray.
May we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, house those without homes;
may we walk with those who feel they are alone, and may we do all we can to heal the sick –
in spite of the pandemic, in spite of the fear.
Help us, O God, that we may help each other.
In the love of the Creator, in the name of the Healer, in the life of the Holy Spirit that is in all and with all, we pray. Amen.
(**Adapted from Right Rev. Richard Bott, originally posted on Facebook by United Church of Canada)