Los Angeles, Calif., Mar 19, 2021 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- On the feast of St. Joseph, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles encouraged Catholics to reflect on the simple, yet powerful characteristics of this holy family man.
“We celebrate St. Joseph today because in his story, we see our story,” Archbishop Gomez said during his homily at a March 19 Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
“You and I belong to the great family of God. With St. Joseph, we are part of the family of heroes and saints that extends back to the beginning of time!”
While Pope Francis dedicated this liturgical year to St. Joseph, Gomez emphasized the important role of this saint as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said Joseph was an ordinary man but also the foster-father of God and a powerful intercessor of the Church. He encouraged Catholics to reflect on his example.
“We carry out our mission, just as Joseph did. By serving Jesus in the ordinary work of our everyday lives. In our neighborhoods, churches, and schools. And in a special way, in our homes and families,” said Gomez.
“Today, as we know, also marks the start of the ‘Year Amoris Laetitia Family,’ and Pope Francis is asking us to reflect on the joy of love in our families,” he said. “And it is fitting that we are celebrating the family in this year of St. Joseph. Because Joseph served God’s plan as a husband and a provider for his family.”
The archbishop pointed to the familial symbols and spiritual kinship throughout the Bible. He said that, as God promised Abraham, the entire Church has become children of faith through Christ. He said the members of the Church will be guided as did the fathers of the Old Testament.
In face of the ongoing pandemic, he challenged Catholics to seek the protection of Joseph, to ask his intercession, and to follow his example of virtue.
“In this moment in the Church’s history — as we approach our second Easter under the dark cloud of this pandemic, in this time when there is still so much trouble and fear — our Holy Father Pope Francis is calling us to ‘go to Joseph.’”
“St. Joseph is the patron of the Universal Church, and so he is our father, too. God entrusted him with the protection of Jesus and Mary, and he entrusts him with the care of the Church.”
He said Joseph put his trust in God’s promises and carried out God’s plan with humility and courage. He said St. Joseph, who never speaks in Gospel, is a simple man who responds to the voice of God with obedience.
As God relies on people from humble origins, he said, God is entrusting everyone with the task to rebuild society following the negative impacts of the pandemic. He said it is uncertain how the post-pandemic world will look but it will be different.
“The lesson for us is that God works in this world, not through rich and powerful, but ‘from below.’ God works through the lowly and humble, through ordinary men and women like Joseph and Mary, living their lives with fidelity and love,” he said.
“Wherever we are, is where God calls us to serve. This is our ‘mission territory,’ this is where we play our part in salvation history.”
“God is calling each of us to follow him and serve him — through the love we share in our families and communities. Through our kindness and compassion, through the sacrifices we make to love one another.”
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