VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today reflected on the “silent but beautiful life” of his namesake, St. Joseph, who is portrayed in a new fountain that the Pope inaugurated today in the Vatican Gardens.
The fountain has six bronze panels detailing six moments in the life of Mary’s husband. It was a gift to the Pope from the Governor’s Office of Vatican City State.
The Holy Father reflected briefly on each of the scenes portrayed on the fountain.
He first noted the importance of Joseph’s marriage to Mary, which “would confer on the Son of the Virgin — on God’s Son — the legal tile of ‘son of David,’ thus fulfilling the prophecies.”
He said the espousals of Joseph and Mary are thus a human event “determinant in the history of humanity’s salvation” and thus with a “supernatural connotation, which the two protagonists accept with humility and trust.”
“Very soon the moment of trial arrives for Joseph, a trial challenging for his faith,” the Pontiff continued.
He referred to Joseph’s confusion at Mary’s pregnancy and the subsequent dream that indicated the path he should follow.
“The divine intervention in his life could not but perturb his heart,” the Pope said. “To trust God does not mean to see everything clearly according to our criteria, it does not mean to carry out what we have planned; to trust God means to empty ourselves of ourselves and to deny ourselves, because only one who accepts losing himself for God can be ‘just’ as St. Joseph, that is, can conform his own will to God’s and thus be fulfilled.”
The Bishop of Rome went on to reflect on the silence that “characterizes [Joseph’s] whole existence, both before finding himself before the mystery of God’s action in his spouse, as well as when — conscious of this mystery — he is with Mary in the Nativity.” Another challenge comes as he’s forced to flee with his family to Egypt: a “trial in which he is asked for full fidelity to God’s plan,” the Pontiff said.
The fifth panel portrays Joseph finding Jesus in the temple.
“Reminding his own parents of the primacy of the One he calls ‘my Father,’ Jesus affirms the primacy of the will of God over every other will, and reveals to Joseph the profound truth of his role: He too is called to be a disciple of Jesus, dedicating his existence to the service of the Son of God and of the Virgin Mother, in obedience to the Heavenly Father,” the Pope said.
Finally, he reflected on Joseph’s work in Nazareth, accompanied by the young Jesus.
“The Son of God is hidden from men and only Mary and Joseph guard his mystery and live it each day,” the Holy Father noted. “The Word Incarnate grows as man in the shadow of his parents, but, at the same time, they remain, in turn, hidden in Christ, in his mystery, living their vocation.”
Benedict XVI concluded his reflection by entrusting the Church and the world to Joseph’s intercession.
“May he, together with the Virgin Mary, his spouse, always guide my way and yours,” he said, “so that we are able to be joyful instruments of peace and of salvation.”
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