Pope Benedict XVI- Angelus
Silence of St. Joseph: His Interior Life
H.H. Benedict XVI
December 18, 2005
Dear Brothers and
In these last days of
Advent the liturgy invites us to contemplate in a special way the
Virgin Mary and St Joseph, who lived with unique intensity the
period of expectation and preparation for Jesus' birth.
Today, I would like
to turn my gaze to the figure of St Joseph. In today's Gospel St
Luke presents the Virgin Mary as "a virgin betrothed to a man named
Joseph, of the house of David" (cf. Lk 1: 27). The Evangelist
Matthew, however, places a greater emphasis on the putative father
of Jesus, stressing that through him the Child belonged legally to
the lineage of David and thus fulfilled the Scriptural prophecy that
the Messiah would be a "son of David".
But Joseph's role
cannot be reduced to this legal aspect. He was the model of a "just"
man (Mt 1: 19) who, in perfect harmony with his wife, welcomed the
Son of God made man and watched over his human growth.
It is therefore
particularly appropriate in the days that precede Christmas to
establish a sort of spiritual conversation with St Joseph, so that
he may help us live to the full this great mystery of faith.
Beloved Pope John Paul II, who was very devoted to St
Joseph, left us a wonderful meditation dedicated to him in the
"The Guardian of the Redeemer".
Among the many
aspects on which this Document sheds light, the silence of St Joseph
is given a special emphasis. His silence is steeped in contemplation
of the mystery of God in an attitude of total availability to the
In other words, St
Joseph's silence does not express an inner emptiness but, on the
contrary, the fullness of the faith he bears in his heart and which
guides his every thought and action.
It is a silence
thanks to which Joseph, in unison with Mary, watches over the Word
of God, known through the Sacred Scriptures, continuously comparing
it with the events of the life of Jesus; a silence woven of constant
prayer, a prayer of blessing of the Lord, of the adoration of his
holy will and of unreserved entrustment to his providence.
It is no exaggeration
to think that it was precisely from his "father" Joseph that Jesus
learned - at the human level - that steadfast interiority which is a
presupposition of authentic justice, the "superior justice" which he
was one day to teach his disciples (cf. Mt 5: 20).
Let us allow
ourselves to be "filled" with St Joseph's silence! In a world that
is often too noisy, that encourages neither recollection nor
listening to God's voice, we are in such deep need of it. During
this season of preparation for Christmas, let us cultivate inner
recollection in order to welcome and cherish Jesus in our own lives.
Fourth Sunday of Advent I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims
and visitors present for the Angelus. As the celebration of Our
Lord's birth draws near let us join with Mary in prayerful trust,
ready to embrace God's will as a sign of hope for our world. During
these last days of the holy season of Advent, I invoke upon you and
your families God's abundant Blessings of joy and peace.
you all for this pleasant visit. Have a good Sunday!
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