Monday, March 20
Deacon René Pellessier
Sem. Class of 2017


A Man Who Was Not Afraid of Failure


“Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.’”  -Matthew 1:19-20


There is one question that every college student of this day and age must answer, and that is: What is God calling me to do with the life He has given me? This question can be extremely difficult for us to answer because the prospect of failure appears so high. Fear of failure drives us to think that we might pursue a career path that leaves us unhappy, a consecrated life that leaves us lonely, or a marriage that leaves us miserable. Such thoughts can freeze us with fear and anxiety, causing us to delay our decisions. But St. Joseph is there to show us that we need not fear failure because God is with us every step of the way.


When St. Joseph learned that Mary conceived a child through the Holy Spirit, he must have felt in his heart a deep and true sense of unworthiness to be the husband of Mary and the foster father of the Messiah. He initially made a decision to release Mary from her marital obligation. Joseph was a man of action. He was not one for freezing or delaying decisions. He discerned and then he acted. But in this case, he acted wrongly. He made the wrong decision by deciding to divorce Mary. But our loving God was not going to abandon him to suffer the consequences of his mistake. No, He had other plans for His servant.


Notice that when God addresses St. Joseph, He does not say “Joseph, you idiot!” Instead, He addresses Joseph as a son of David, the greatest king to rule the nation of Israel, reminding him of his royalty and affirming his fidelity. In this dream, God gently corrects the misjudgment of His faithful servant and guides him along the right path. This event can be a great consolation to all of us making big decisions in our lives. Whether it is a career-path, consecrated life, or marriage, God shows us in St. Joseph that He will be there to correct our mistakes. In God, through the intercession of St. Joseph, we do not need to fear making the wrong decision, because God will always write straight with our crooked lines.


 Lord, watch over us poor sinners as we try to continue along the path to eternity with You. Guide our minds and our hearts as we make the tough decisions in our lives. Cast out any fear that may haunt us. Fill us with confidence, knowing that You are always with us along our journey. Amen.


Ex 17:1-7    Ps 95:1-2, 6-9   Jn 4:5-42  or Jn 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42