Mass Readings: 2 Samuel 7:4-5a,12-14a,16/Romans 4:13, 16-18,22/Matthew 1:16,18-21,24a or Luke 2:41-51

The Death of Mary’s Spouse

This year the feast of St. Joseph has me thinking about Mary, once his bride and later his widow. “Too soon,” I’m sure she thought. And she was right. Always too soon if it’s a happy marriage. Even the Holy Family experienced the pain of losing a member. Mary’s being conceived without original sin, and Jesus’ being both God and human, didn’t shield them from that grief.

She must have missed him in so many ways. His voice, his laugh, his presence. His remembering and sharing stories from their times of courtship, early marriage and parenthood. “What was the name of that Bethlehem shepherd who . . . ?” “I was thinking about that first night after we realized Jesus had stayed in Jerusalem and . . . ” Our Lady of Sorrows knew the challenges of widowhood.

Prayer: Dear St. Joseph, be with those who are facing death, and with their loved ones.