Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year’s Message

“…the Angel of the Lord…appeared to Joseph…and said ‘get up’…(Mt. 2:13)

May the blessings of love and peace, sufficiency of resources and family joy be yours this New Year and the days ahead!

Thus I greet you all with fervent prayers and well wishes as we joyfully commemorate the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

It is both interesting to note and curious to ponder that in the Gospel for this feast of the Virgin Mary as Mother of God, the focus is centered on Joseph, her spouse and the foster father of her son Jesus. In the event that you find the time or occasion after attending the mass, do read the Gospel yourselves and there you will find the person of Joseph was referred to no less than nine consecutive times. This much repeated reference to the person of Joseph cannot but tell us a significant and relevant truth.

This is that truth: ordinarily every male individual eventually has no less than three relational dimensions—one, as a man; two as a husband; and three, as a father. St. Joseph himself lived these three realities in his life—as a man, as a spouse and as a foster father.

As men, they are in their best when they are gentle yet firm, respectful but courageous. Children they love—not hurt. Women they honor—not exploit. Neighbors they help—not disregard.

As husbands, they are much appreciated when they are faithful to their wives, when they are industrious and responsible. They are instead in the worst when they womanize, take drugs, indulge in alcohol, go gambling and have other vices.

As fathers, they are great when they keep their families united. Their children well disciplined in word, action and behavior. Woe to them if they hurt their wives, violate their children, divine their families.

The truth is that most if not all of the troubles at home and in the country, with certain exceptions, are by and large caused by men, wicked husbands and deviate fathers. We can just imagine the many and big blessings brought about in society and in the country by good men, committed husbands and responsible fathers.

In the entire Gospel, St. Joseph did not say a word. But he did all things well as a man, a spouse and a foster father.

Do have a blessed and happy New Year—especially with the company of good men, committed husbands and responsible fathers!

1 January 2008