Sunday Gospel reflections: Joseph’s silent listening to God

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and, Joseph (Year A)

"The Flight into Egypt" by Peter Paul Rubens, 1614. Photo: Public Domain

There’s a lot we can learn from St. Joseph — humility, patience, obedience to God, the importance of silence, and devotion to family.

This Sunday, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. In Year A, the Gospel reading is St. Matthew telling us about the Flight into Egypt — a scary event in the early life of the Christ Child.

An angel tells St. Joseph in a dream that he must take his family and flee because King Herod wants “to search for the child to destroy him” (Matthew 2:13). Joseph, always silently obedient to God, does what he’s told by God’s messenger. Later in the Gospel, we’re told about two more of Joseph’s dreams. Again, the response is the same: silent obedience to God.

In our noisy culture, where we are inundated with “notifications” on our cell phones and constant busyness, the Holy Family, and in particular St. Joseph, is the antidote we need. Silent reflection allows us to hear God’s voice in our lives.

Each time St. Joseph listened to God things turned out OK. The same can be true for us.


Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14

Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

Colossians 3:12-21 or Colossians 3:12-17

Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

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