Looking over the calendar for the rest of March, I am struck by the fact that the Feast of St. Joseph, the Patron of the Church, occurs on Tuesday, March 19.
What a great day for the Inaugural Mass of our next Pope!!
Obviously, I will have no say in when that Mass will take place. But I can't help but note the significance of having that Inaugural Mass on the Feast of the Patron of the Universal Church. St. Joseph was also given the title "Guardian of the Redeemer" by Blessed John Paul II.
Since I was a seminarian, I have had a very personal devotion to St. Joseph. In God's providence I was ordained a priest on May 1, 1962 the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Then, on March 19, 1975, the Feast of St. Joseph I was ordained a Bishop. Although all of this is just imaginary, it would be wonderful to celebrate the 38th anniversary of my episcopal ordination during the Inaugural Mass for our new Pope!
In a sermon on St. Joseph, St. Bernardine of Siena gives us helpful insights:
"Joseph was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph's wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: 'Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.'
What then is Joseph's position in the whole Church of Christ? Is he not a man chosen and set apart? Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honorably introduced into the world. Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ. But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph."
O glorious St. Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for us pure, humble, and charitable hearts, and perfect conformity to the will of God. Be our guide, our father and model during life so that we may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Dear St. Joseph, foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ, true spouse of the Virgin Mother of God, pray for us!