We have all heard that question about whether a glass is half full or half empty, that is, how we see things in life: optimistically or pessimistically. We are about halfway through our 2023 Lenten journey, so we can stop and ask ourselves: Is my Lent half full or half empty so far?
Over the past few weeks, we have read in Scripture about challenges being accepted, thirsts being quenched, blindness being cured, Jesus being transfigured, God’s promises being kept and Jesus being lauded as our Good Shepherd. With such positive experiences, how could we be anything but optimistic? Certainly, fears, doubts, sins, and temptations can get in the way.
It may be a good idea to call upon St. Joseph, whose feast we celebrate today, to be our coach for the rest of Lent. He is truly a model of strength and holiness.
Dear St. Joseph, we ask you to pray for us. You were obedient to the angel of the Lord. You sheltered Mary, protected her, and kept her safe as you traveled to Bethlehem and, later, to Egypt. Teach us to treasure our relationships with Mary, your spouse, and with your foster child, Jesus. Pray for us, that we may be strong against temptations to distractions and despair.
Dear St. Joseph, steady craftsman, faithful worker, you are called “a righteous man” in Sacred Scripture. Pray for us that we may be righteous and persistent as we work at becoming holier and closer to our Lord. Teach us to be courageous on our faith journey.
Dear St. Joseph, as you provided for the earthly, daily needs of your family, pray for us as we work through our daily, mundane tasks. You know the joy of heaven. Pray for us for an increase in the desire to be close to you and your holy family. Help us to follow your example: to be humble and grateful for our opportunities to love and serve God, our Creator.
Dear St. Joseph, as you watched the boy, Jesus, grow into manhood, pray for us that we might grow into more mature followers of Jesus Christ. Help us to realize our potential as Christians who can encounter Our Savior every day. St. Joseph, you must have been a great comfort to Mary. Pray for us that we may learn to lovingly comfort and encourage others as we prepare for the holy season of Easter. Amen.
Painting: The Holy Family with a Small Bird by Bartolomé Estaban Murillo (circa 1650). Museo del Prado, Madrid. Public domain.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in south Florida. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.