By Cynthia Sartor, Companion in Mercy

“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 1:20

Art by Sister Renee Yann
Art by Sister Renee Yann

We know very little about Joseph, other than he was a husband, father and carpenter, and that he listened to angels.

For me, angels often visit in the form of a still, small whisper that the soul hears and the heart understands. The angels Joseph heard whispered to him to marry, flee and later to return home. Perhaps these are the messages of angels: to love, to act and to trust. Joseph showed us how to love without reserve when he took Mary to be his bride, taught us how to act without hesitation when he took his family and fled to Egypt and demonstrated to us how to trust explicitly when he was told to return home.

We don’t know much about Joseph and we don’t know much about angels. Some people wonder if angels exist at all; others understand them as spirits or ghosts; and some have come to accept angels as a kind of spiritual intuition. Could angels be the educators of the soul—those entities that help us come to know truth, react to injustice, work with mercy and love without question? Joseph appeared to have had a keen sense of understanding that may only come when one is touched by angels.

Could this be the message of the angels: love without reserve, act without hesitancy and trust explicitly knowing that we are surrounded by the whisperings of angels?

Cynthia’s reflection is based on the scripture readings for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph (March 19) and was adapted with permission from the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community’s Lenten 2019 Reflection Booklet.

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