May 1 – Feast of St. Joseph the Worker
Joseph (d. 1st century) was a descendant of the House of David. He was a layman, a builder by trade; traditionally a carpenter, but may have been a stone worker. He was the earthly spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the foster and adoptive father of Jesus Christ. He was a visionary who was visited by angels. He was noted for his willingness to immediately get up and do what God had told him to do. He died of natural causes, prior to the Passion of Christ.
- Patron Saint Index
“Saul got up from the ground, but even with his eyes wide open he could see nothing at all, and they had to lead him into Damascus by the hand.”
There is a line in the well-known hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ that says, “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.” That is such a poignant line in the hymn, as I feel it describes all of us, not so much in the context of the conversion of non-believers, but in the spiritual awakening of the believers of Christ.
I think that at some point (or points) in our lives, we all experience some sort of ‘spiritual blindness’. What I mean is that we may be believers of God and dedicate our lives to our respective ministries or BEC groups, attend mass every Sunday and follow every practice required of us, but that does not mean that we are spiritually able to ‘see’. I acknowledge that this is a delicate subject to tread, and I do not claim to be an expert and neither am I spiritually ‘awakened’, but I would like to share that at times, we may feel that our spiritual well is a little blocked, and that is fine. You’re not alone. We are all cognizant of God’s teaching and the lessons espoused to us from the Bible, yet we may just be ‘going through the motions’. Our light may be on dimmer mode, probably due to all the noise around us and the worries inside us. These serve as distractions that eventually drown out the beckoning of God that we once knew. It doesn’t make us bad people; it just means we are a little confounded and disoriented.
Saul thought that he was a man who was a righteous believer in God, and that the disciples of Jesus were following the wrong teachings, thus he persecuted them. He was a Jew, brought up in strict observance of the Law of the time, and thus he shut everything out, thinking he was right; until he met Jesus on his way to Damascus. He was the worst persecutor of Christ at the time, yet God saw beyond that and chose him to become His instrument to spread the Good News to the pagans and the people of Israel. God saw beyond his spiritual blindness and converted Saul, awakening him.
How is that relevant to our situation? I believe that the first step is to acknowledge and accept that we may be ‘lost’ in the spiritual wilderness. Empty our hearts out in this wilderness to God so that He can fill it with the Holy Spirit. If we do not let go, God cannot work through us and with us. If we are reluctant, then we shortchange ourselves from receiving God’s grace. We must be willing to be led to God’s purpose, just as Saul was led to Damascus to meet with Ananias.
We may have been taught the ways of God and the dos and don’ts of the Church, but that doesn’t mean that we can ‘see’. Perhaps it is time to acknowledge that we have been blind, and ask for God’s grace to help remove the scales from our eyes and see again.
(Today’s Oxygen by Annette Soo)
Prayer: Lord, we pray for your help to eradicate the scales from our eyes, that we may be rid of the blindness of our heart and see again.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for giving us a second chance and more, and for not withdrawing Your grace from us, even though we are unworthy.