St. Joseph, Protector
We join with the Earth and with each other.
We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery for the healing of the Earth and the renewal of all life. Amen.
It may seem too big a stretch to link St. Joseph with our call to care for the earth today, but this is precisely the link made by Pope Francis in his inaugural homily given on the Feast of St. Joseph, 2013.
He invites us to imitate Joseph who has been proclaimed custodian of the universal church. In Laudato Si’, he claims the tradition of St. Joseph as Protector.
Let us call on Joseph to protect our planet and all its riches, to teach us respect for the beauty of the created world… all God’s creatures and the environment in which we live.
Pope Francis, along with his two predecessors and many Bishops throughout the world, is acutely concerned with the realities of the environmental destruction of our earthly home and is calling the whole world to respond to the suffering and increasing loss of all created life.
To be a protector like Joseph means to protect all creation, to protect people and show loving concern for each and every person, especially the most vulnerable.
Today, these are the ones whose poverty and suffering are a direct result of environmental problems and whose fulfillment of basic needs, in turn, causes further environmental destruction in vicious cycles of depletion.
From the Scriptures, we know little of St. Joseph. He was a man of few words but courageous action and risked the next steps in a world of inevitable change and profound need. The Pope has proclaimed 2021 as the Year of St. Joseph and highlighted for us what it means to follow Joseph.
We are all called to this commitment as we live our daily lives. For Sisters of St. Joseph and Associates/Companions around the world, the call to be protectors in imitation of St. Joseph, in the environmental and social realities of our time, is particularly significant and very timely.
God of all creation, we thank you for the life of Joseph.
He was a simple man, who recognized your will for him
through dreams within and needs beyond.
May we too be ready to listen to our own inner voice
guiding us to make the lifestyle changes needed in our time.
St. Joseph, our guide and protector,
lead us to care for all creation.
- by Sister Mary Mettler
We thank you for joining us during this Novena. Blessings on your journey!
By Sisters Betty Lou Knox, Mary Mettler and Janet Speth, CSJ
St. Joseph Photo by Sister Betty Lou Knox