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Saint Joseph

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Matthew 1:18-24
 
Although we know that Jesus has only one Father, God the Father, in human terms and on this earth, Joseph was his father.  He was his adopted father, just as today many children do not have as their father their biological father.
 
We can see therefore Joseph as an inspiration and as an example of father love and fidelity.  He is a saint for all who adopt the role of father, whether or not they are fathers by blood of those precious sons and daughters for whom they are now responsible.
 
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the example and inspiration of St Joseph.  We pray for fathers we know who, like St Joseph, will be able to hear your word for their families.
 
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Signs of the Times

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Luke 12:54-59
 
What are the signs of the times today?  How do we know that God is living and active among us?  
 
The election of Pope Francis is a sign of the times, certainly: his love for the poor, his refusal to accept or mbrance many of the élitist trappings of his office; his passion for the simple Gospel message; and his love for God and for Jesus.
 
Another sign of the times is the rise of new spiritual movements.  The Holy Spirit is at work in our midst.  The signs of the world are ever apparent and we do well to note them also: the rise of militant atheism, materialism, fascism and moral relativism.
 
One of the great prophets of the modern world was St Pope Paul VI.  He wrote, “The split between the Gospel and the culture is without doubt the drama of our time, just as it was of other times.  Therefore every effort must be made to ensure a full evangelisation of culture, or more correctly of cultures.  The have to be regenerated by an encounter with the Gospel.  But this encounter will not take place if the Gospel is not proclaimed.”  (Evanglii nuntiandi 20).
 
Lord God, you gave courage to the Holy Martyrs.  Grant us the grace to seek to understand the signs of our times and always to be prepared to share with others the reason for our hope in Christ.
 
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