OREMUS: 19 March 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Mar 18 17:00:00 GMT 2009

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OREMUS for Thursday, March 19, 2009
Saint Joseph

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, almighty God,
for your wise and faithful servant Joseph,
the righteous man and faithful guardian 
of the most precious treasures of God,
his Son and his spouse, the ever-blessed Virgin Mary.
As you enriched him with your grace,
you shed forth the blessings of your love on us.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 
Psalm 25

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
   my God, I put my trust in you;*
 let me not be humiliated,
   nor let my enemies triumph over me.
Let none who look to you be put to shame;*
 let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
Show me your ways, O Lord,*
 and teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,*
 for you are the God of my salvation;
   in you have I trusted all the day long.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love,*
 for they are from everlasting.
Remember not the sins of my youth
   and my transgressions;*
 remember me according to your love
   and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
Gracious and upright is the Lord;*
 therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
He guides the humble in doing right*
 and teaches his way to the lowly.
All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness*
 to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
For your name's sake, O Lord,*
 forgive my sin, for it is great.
Who are they who fear the Lord?*
 he will teach them the way that they should choose.
They shall dwell in prosperity,*
 and their offspring shall inherit the land.
The Lord is a friend to those who fear him*
 and will show them his covenant.
My eyes are ever looking to the Lord,*
 for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and have pity on me,*
 for I am left alone and in misery.
The sorrows of my heart have increased;*
 bring me out of my troubles.
Look upon my adversity and misery*
 and forgive me all my sin.
Look upon my enemies, for they are many,*
 and they bear a violent hatred against me.
Protect my life and deliver me;*
 let me not be put to shame, for I have trusted in you.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,*
 for my hope has been in you.
Deliver Israel, O God,*
 out of all his troubles.

A Song of God's Chosen One (Isaiah 11.1-4a,6,9)

There shall come forth a shoot from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

The spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear,

But with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.

The calf, the lion and the fatling together,
with a little child to lead them.

They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you seamonsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*

 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.

FIRST READING [2 Samuel 7:4-16]:

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan:
Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you
the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived
in a house since the day I brought up the people of
Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving
about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved
about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a
word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I
commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, 'Why have
you not built me a house of cedar?' Now therefore thus
you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of
hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the
sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been
with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your
enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great
name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I
will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant
them, so that they may live in their own place, and be
disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no
more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges
over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all
your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the
Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled
and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up
your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your
body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a
house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his
kingdom for ever. I will be a father to him, and he shall
be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish
him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted
by human beings. But I will not take my steadfast love
from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from
before you. Your house and your kingdom shall be made
sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established
for ever.

Words: (c) Marnie Barrell, 1995
Tune: Rustington, Blaenwern, Abbot's Leigh, Hyfrydol

Praise to God, whose Holy Spirit
formed the life in Mary's womb,
won the trust of gentle Joseph
praise to God for Jesus' home.
We give thanks for those who loved him,
fed his body, shaped his mind;
all who helped to make him holy
blessed, through him, all humankind.

Poor the home where humble parents
lived and worked beside the boy
poor in comforts and possessions,
rich in wisdom, love and joy.
Here was suffering met with courage,
here God's will was daily done;
rich indeed the home where Jesus
grew as God's beloved Son.

Faithful Israel's son and daughter,
chosen from the chosen race,
we will honour you and praise you,
first to see God's human face.
Heirs of Abraham and Sarah,
you bring us, through Jesus' birth,
every blessing God has promised
all the families of earth. 

SECOND READING [Matthew 1:18-end]:

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah  took place in this
way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but
before they lived together, she was found to be with
child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a
righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public
disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when
he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared
to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph, son of David, do not
be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child
conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a
son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his
people from their sins.' All this took place to fulfil
what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
'Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
   and they shall name him Emmanuel',
which means, 'God is with us.' When Joseph awoke from
sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he
took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with
her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

We pray for the family of the Church,
for loving relationships,
and for the life of families around us.
We pray especially for the Diocese of Meru, Kenya,
The Rt Revd Charles Ndiga Mwendwa, Bishop.
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Jesus, Lord of love,
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, born in poverty and soon a refugee,
be with families today who are poor
and live in hunger and want...
Jesus, Lord of love,
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you grew in wisdom and in favor
with God and the people
in the family of Joseph the carpenter,
bring wisdom and the presence of God
into the work and growth of families today...
Jesus, Lord of love,
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you blessed marriage in the wedding at Cana,
be with those preparing for marriage
and with those who come to the end of their resources...
Jesus, Lord of love,
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you healed Peter's mother-in-law,
bring healing to those in our families who are ill today...
Jesus, Lord of love,
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, when you were dying
you called Mary and John to care for one another.
Provide today for those who lose their families:
the bereaved and childless, orphans and widows...
Jesus, Lord of love,
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you ate breakfast on the beach with your disciples,
after you were raised from the dead,
bring the whole Church on earth and in heaven
into your risen presence to eat at the eternal banquet.
Jesus, Lord of love,
in your mercy, hear us.

God our Father,
who from the family of your servannt David
raised up Joseph the carpenter
to be the guardian of your incarnate Son
and husband of the blessed virgin Mary:
give us grace to follow him
in faithful obedience to your commands;
through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

God of love,
turn our hearts to your ways;
and give us peace. Amen.

The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
Norwich, 1999.

The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

All that we know of Joseph we learn from the first two chapters of Matthew
and of Luke. Otherwise he is mentioned only in passing in Luke 3:23; John
1:45; John 6:42 as the supposed father of Jesus. (Mark does not mention him
at all.)
In the face of circumstances where a man of lesser character might have
reacted very differently, Joseph graciously assumed the role of Jesus' father. He
is well remembered in Christian tradition for the love he showed to the boy
Jesus, and for his tender affection and care for Mary, during the twelve years
and more that he was their protector.
Joseph was a pious Jew, a descendant of David, and a carpenter by trade. (The
Gospels use the Greek word TEKTON, which means "builder," as in
"architect." It has been suggested that he may have been a mason or a
metalworker, or a building contractor. In favor of the traditional translation,
we have a remark in the writings of Justin Martyr, who was born in Palestine,
probably around 100, and who tells us that he has seen plows and ox-yokes
still in use which were said to have been made in the carpenter-shop at
Nazareth. We may not believe that the particular claims were all accurate, but
they are testimony to what the Christians of Palestine in the early second
century believed that Joseph's occupation had been, and this may be an idea
continuously handed down in the community there since the early first
century.) Because of the silence of the Gospels, and because Jesus entrusted
Mary to the care of John, it is generally believed that Joseph died a natural
death after the visit to Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve (Luke 2:41-51), but
before the Baptism of Jesus when He was thirty. Joseph's influence during
those early years must have been tremendous. When Jesus spoke of God as
being like a loving Father, He was using a word that he had first learned as a
child to apply to Joseph. Joseph stands as a testimony to the value of simple
everyday human things, and especially that human thing called "fatherhood."
[James Kiefer]

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