Dear Friends of Joseph House:
How would you describe the time in which we live?
Scientists say we are in the Anthropocene Epoch, a time when human activity dominates the planet. Technologists say we are in the Information Age, with the Internet and smartphones bringing the world to our fingertips. If you keep up with the news you might be tempted to say we are in the End Times. That’s being pessimistic, and the end of the world has been predicted many times before in the past, but it can feel like it, doesn’t it?
In his book, Our Lady of Holy Saturday, Cardinal Carlo Martini suggests instead that we are living in the “Holy Saturday of History,” a time of confusion and dashed hopes.
Holy Saturday is different from the rest of Holy Week. There are no strong images associated with it: there is no palm waving as Christ enters Jerusalem, no washing of feet or breaking of bread, no betrayal with a kiss, no crucifixion. It’s a day of silence, caught between extreme darkness and light. It’s the Sabbath day following Christ’s Passion.
Cardinal Martini has a point. Since all around us we see signs of God’s absence, Christ is still entombed, or so it seems. In the movie Groundhog Day, February 2nd gets repeated over and over again. For us, it’s Holy Saturday, and the sunrise of Easter morning never appears to arrive.
How do we live during this time, when fear and dread threaten to rule the day? As indicated by the title of his book, Cardinal Martini directs us to the example of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Scripture, Mary is a woman who remembers. She proclaims in her song of praise, “The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His name” (Lk 1:49). And then at Bethlehem, when the shepherds gathered around the manger with stories of angels, Mary “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). And yet again Scriptures records that she “treasured all these things in heart” (Lk 2:51), this time at Nazareth, following an eventful trip to the temple where the Child Jesus was found teaching the elders. Nothing passed by in Mary’s life without a deep, contemplative gaze at its meaning.
This same type of holy remembering can serve us well too:
“We have all had the experience of being able to perceive the presence of a strength that accompanied us in times of difficulty, even if we did not feel it when we suffered and it seemed to us that we did not possess it. It may seem to us sometimes that we have been abandoned by God and by our fellow human beings, and yet, when we look back over the events that have just passed we realize that the Lord had continued to walk with us, and had even carried us in His arms.” (Our Lady of Holy Saturday, pp. 34-35)
Mary became the Mother of Hope on Holy Saturday because the memories in her motherly heart nurtured the conviction that God will not abandon us. Look back over your own life: we pray you can find the same consolation.
Our acts of love give witness to hope, and every seed of goodness planted creates a sense of communion. Then the truth becomes more believable: God is with us and always will be.
Your support of our ministry is helping people in need know that they are not forgotten. Here are a few of the people your contributions have assisted:
Marcus, 60, fell into a tailspin after his wife died. He lost his job and then his apartment. For about a year he was homeless, going back and forth between shelters and the street. Marcus credits therapy with saving his life. He found a job at a grocery store and with $400 from the Joseph House he was able to move into a new place to live.
Ana, 51, is a hard-working single mother. She works in the evening doing cleaning work and must take her young daughter with her since she cannot afford a babysitter. Ana contracted COVID-19 and lost 18 days of work. It was devastating to her budget. We sent $350 to the electric company to stop a cut-off. Ana lives in a dingy trailer park; she dreams of moving away.
Kelsey, 33, has a son and is also caring for her sister’s three children because her sister was arrested. Kelsey works at a low-paying job making pizza. The water was turned off in her home because she could not afford to pay the bill. We paid the amount due ($340).
Paige, 29, is the mother of three children. The youngest was born with cerebral palsy and requires many doctor visits and additional care. This was too much for the father of the child and he left. Paige said they were engaged to be married. She is a very loving and responsible parent and is doing the best she can. Her only income is her child’s Social Security check, which covers the rent and not much else. We paid $400 toward Paige’s overdue electric bill.
When the Risen Christ appeared to the disciples, His first words were, “Peace be with you.” We are writing this in early March and we fervently pray that the people of Ukraine will know peace and that all wars will end. May God have mercy on us.
Thank you for your support of the Joseph House. We hope your celebration of Easter renews your spirit. And let us continue to love and pray for one another.
Your Little Sisters of Jesus and Mary
If something is weighing heavily in your heart please know that you are not alone. We will pray for you and your special intentions: Contact Form.
Did you know that by making a small donation you can make a big difference in the life of someone in poverty? Learn how you can help: Donate.
Our featured community member this month is Sr. Jennifer. She has a fun way of staying active. Read her profile here: Sr. Jennifer.