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Friday, 09 August 2013 13:14

Radio broadcast - August 2013 Featured

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Dearest Saint Joseph,
in this summer heat, ideally, I sit next to you in the shade of a tree to confide in you a feeling of joy for the climate of serenity that Pope Francis allowed us to experience last week with World Youth Day. They were intense days of faith, hope, sharing and above all planning our lives.
At the end of that experience, the Pope gave the young people three verbs: go, without fear and serve.
«Go. In these days, here in Rio – said Pope Francis – you have been able to have the beautiful experience of meeting Jesus and meeting him together, you have felt the joy of faith. But the experience of this meeting cannot remain locked up in your life or in the small group of the parish, of the movement, of your community. It would be like taking away the oxygen from a burning flame. Faith is a flame that becomes more and more alive the more it is shared and transmitted, so that everyone can know, love and profess Jesus Christ who is the Lord of life and history (see Rom 10,9).


Fearless. Someone might think: "I don't have any special preparation, how can I go and announce the Gospel?". Dear listeners, our fear is not very different from that of Jeremiah, we have just heard in the reading, when he was called by God to be a prophet. «Alas, Lord God! Well, I don't know how to speak, because I'm young." God also says to you what he said to Jeremiah: «Do not be afraid [...], because I am with you to protect you» (Jer. 1,7.8). He is with us!
The last word: to serve. The pope questioned the responsorial psalm of the mass: "Sing to the Lord a new song" (Ps. 95,1). What is this new song? They are not words, it is not a melody, but it is the song of your life, it is letting our life identify with that of Jesus, it is having his feelings, his thoughts, his actions. And the life of Jesus is a life for others, the life of Jesus is a life for others. It's a life of service.
Three words: Go, without fear, to serve.
By following these three words we experience that whoever evangelizes is evangelized, whoever transmits the joy of faith receives more joy.
“Dear young people, when returning to your homes – concluded the Pope – do not be afraid to be generous with Christ, to bear witness to his Gospel”.
God's invitation to walk for the first time was heard by Abraham, the father of faith, the first patriarch who symbolically handed over to the last patriarch, Saint Joseph, the last one on the path towards the promise of the messiah.
In Bethlehem, Joseph handed over the name of Jesus, the awaited Messiah, to the registry office.
But Joseph immediately set off tracing the itinerary of Jesus as a pilgrim of the world and also the path of every Christian. The Christian faith is dynamism, a movement that marks the parable of our life as Christians.
The angel invites Joseph to take refuge in Egypt and with his young family he embarks on a journey to a country he did not know: Egypt.
In the Gospel of Matthew we read: «Rise, take the child and his mother with you and flee to Egypt and stay there until I warn you, because Herod is looking for the child to kill him».
Apocryphal literature (as we have said other times, is called apocryphal, because it is human writing; while the Bible is sacred history written under divine inspiration, the apocryphal gospels do not have divine inspiration, they are not infallible truths, but a tradition that arose alongside to writing inspired by the Holy Spirit, as if to humanly fill in some details or curiosities that arose from reading the inspired book.)
We were saying that the apocryphal literature enriched the trip to Egypt with a lot of imagination, imagining palm trees inclined to offer dates within easy reach, which formed a hedge to protect the holy family from the brigands who were tamed.
We must say that there are numerous places that recall the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt and their stay in those places.
For example, Heliopolis, the city from which the wife of the ancient Joseph sold by his brothers came, recalls the stay of Joseph, Mary and the little Jesus. A nearby village venerates the "tree of the Virgin" and a spring. The capital of Egypt, Cairo, commemorates the home of the three exiles with a church.
Let's not forget that for the evangelist Matthew Jesus is considered the true Moses, the liberator.
Blessed John Paul II who will soon be proclaimed a Saint, in his apostolic exhortation on Saint Joseph «the Guardian of the Redeemer» writes: «How Israel had taken the path of the Exodus from the “condition of slavery” to begin the ancient alliance on Sinai , thus Joseph, depositary and cooperator of the providential mystery of God, also safeguards in exile the one who realizes the new alliance" (n. 14).
Even of this mystery Joseph was the minister of salvation, saving the threatened life of the child Jesus from death, as we repeat in the prayer dedicated to Saint Joseph composed by Leo XIII. All the salvation of humanity was placed in those difficult moments in the hands of Saint Joseph.
How important man is, even just one, when he makes himself a docile instrument in the hands of God. The church sees in this singular fact, the fruit of the union between divine and human action, a reason to rely on the patronage of Saint Joseph : “So now defend the holy Church of God from hostile snares and every adversity”.
John Paul II was convinced that "even today we have numerous reasons to pray in the same way... even today we have enduring reasons to recommend every person to Joseph".
In the episode of the flight into Egypt the whole reality of the incarnation emerges. The weakness of the flesh, assumed by divine power, is expressed in the renunciation of miraculous interventions, to entrust oneself to the custody of man, considered sufficient by God, if he obeys his will and lets himself be guided by Him. This is precisely what St. Joseph who, with his obedience and service, presents himself to the whole church as a model and protector.

It is the first time we have felt after the beautiful gift that Pope Francis gave us by decreeing to mention the name of Saint Joseph, alongside that of Mary, in all Eucharistic celebrations. Every day throughout the world, in all ecclesial communities, the fate of the Church and our intentions are entrusted to the hands of Saint Joseph. 
We have a new source of grace.
At the heart of our prayers to Saint Joseph are all children and in particular those who are suffering from physical and moral illnesses (caused by parental separation, abandonment, violence).
Our prayer wants to be, as always, the breath of the world: to breathe the reasons for joy for happy events and to shoulder the suffering, hardships and tears of the world's poor. In particular we want to entrust to Saint Joseph the world of youth, young people looking for work, those who are taking their high school leaving exams.

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