Saturday of the Third Week of Lent

Pope Francis in his apostolic letter on Saint Joseph writes: “Joseph found happiness not in mere self-sacrifice but in self-gift. In him we never see frustration but only trust. His patient silence was the prelude to concrete expressions of trust.” During Lent we are accustomed to self-sacrifice. We give up favorite foods or certain pleasures. Self-gift requires much more. Instead of figuratively placing candy and social media on the altar, we place our very selves. We say, in effect, “Here I am. Do with me as you will” in much the same way that Mary at the Annunciation and Joseph after his dreams said “Do whatever you want with me, God. You can have all of me.” Becoming the parents of Jesus certainly entailed no little self-sacrifice as they sacrificed their security, their plans, their homes, their reputations. We honor Joseph and Mary on their special feasts (March 19 and 25 respectively) for their complete self-gift. May our Lenten self-sacrifices prepare us to become self-gift.

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