During this most sacred season where Christians strive to settle our saturated hearts in order to seek the silence of our Savior's birth, St. Joseph - our patron - enters the forefront of our spiritual journey once again. His powerful intercession has continually provided our school with all our needs, just as he protected and provided for his adopted Son during the frightening months after his birth. He is often dubbed "Joseph the Silent" because he never utters a word in the scriptures. Rather, his resolute actions speak louder than any word that he could speak.
At Mount Royal, leaning on Joseph's intercession throughout each day, we teach children the centrality of living out our faith in the way we act. We would like to share our Holy Father's recent remarks concerning the foster father of Jesus in an effort to further demonstrate charism of Mount Royal, for our charism originates in the model of St. Joseph.
"On this fourth Sunday of Advent the Gospel of St. Matthew tells us how the birth of Jesus came about, taking the perspective of St. Joseph. He was the betrothed of Mary, who, "before they lived together, was found to be with child by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:18). The Son of God, realizing an ancient prophecy (cf. Isaiah 7:14), became man in the womb of a virgin, and such a mystery simultaneously manifests the love, wisdom and power of God on behalf of humanity wounded by sin. St. Joseph is presented as a "just man" (Matthew 1:19), faithful to God’s law, ready to do his will. On account of this he enters into the mystery of the Incarnation after an angel of the Lord appears to him in a dream and tells him: "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife with you. In fact the child that has been conceived in her comes from the Holy Spirit; she will give birth to a son and you will call him Jesus: he in fact will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:20-21). Forgetting the thought of repudiating Mary in secret, he takes her in because his eyes now see the work of God in her.
St. Ambrose comments that "in Joseph there was amiability and the figure of a just man to make the quality of his witness more worthy" (Exp. Ev. sec. Lucam II, 5: CCL 14,32-33). "He," Ambrose continues, "could not have contaminated the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Mother of the Lord, the fruitful womb of the mystery" (ibid. II, 6: CCL 14, 33). Although he had been concerned, Joseph "did as the angel of the Lord ordered him," certain of doing the right thing. Also giving the name "Jesus" to that child who rules the entire universe, he enters into the ranks of the faithful and humble servants, like the angels and prophets, like the martyrs and the apostles -- in the words of ancient eastern hymns. St. Joseph proclaims the wonders of the Lord, witnessing Mary’s virginity, the gratuitous deed of God, and caring for the earthly life of the Messiah. So, we venerate the legal father of Jesus (Code of Canon Law, 532), because the new man takes form in him, who looks to the future with confidence and courage, does not follow his own project, but entrusts himself totally to the infinite mercy of him who fulfills the prophecies and inaugurates the season of salvation." - Vatican City, Angelus address, December 19th 2010
We are thankful because St. Joseph perpetually reminds us that Mount Royal Academy is not our project, and that when we as a community follow our own visionary projects for how we can grow our school too closely, we miss out on all the unexpected and extraordinary surprises that God already has planned for us. May we, like St. Joseph who accepted God's message through an angel, readily recognize God's plan for our school and resolve to follow it with steady hearts.
St. Joseph, pray for us!