Congratulations to those who have faithfully done your reading each day, for we are one third the way to our goal. It is also Holy Thursday, when priests renew their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. On this day Christ instituted the most Holy Eucharist, and most of you will not be able to receive the Sacred Host. But make a good spiritual communion, and hope for the best.
Today Fr. Calloway considers Joseph under his title “Spouse of the Mother of God.” He provides Fulton Sheen’s luminous description of a young, virile spouse rather than an old man (highly recommend, on page 115). Fr. Calloway’s simple statement is true: “There has never been a man more in love with a woman…. Mary knew she was secure in the manhood of St. Joseph.”
A husband and father thinks first of his wife and children. Let me speak specifically about our moment: the failure of manhood is distressingly manifest in the failure of priests and bishops to provide for their children during this epidemic. A layman, who had been locked out of his own parish church, recently wrote that “when my children get the virus—which they certainly will—I will not desert them. I will expose myself to the disease to bring them through their sickness.” Not a few bishops have scandalized us by refusing sacraments to the sick, and even to the healthy. One of Mother Teresa’s sisters recently told me that a bishop in a major American city flatly refused to even let his priests bring the Eucharist for their tabernacle. The sisters, this bishop said, must continue to serve the homeless, but they cannot have the Eucharist. “I am not celebrating Mass myself,” he told the superior, “to be in solidarity with those who cannot attend Mass.” This bishop is not a good father, but many bishops and priests are good fathers. On this day when we renew our vows, please pray to St. Joseph for us!