BECAUSE of his experience of being a Covid-19 patient, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, during the thanksgiving mass which he presided on Friday, March 19, 2021 for the Solemnity of St. Joseph the spouse of Mary, and for his 71st birthday, said he had been more aware of the significance of the gift of life.
“I was telling the Lord, ‘Lord, you have given me 70 years already. I feel I will reach 71 and beyond. So, I celebrate life,’” the prelate said.
Palma said the experience of being confined in a hospital because of Covid-19 was somehow easy as he was with the Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Antonio Rañola, who just like him, also defeated Covid-19 last month.
Meanwhile, Rañola, who delivered the homily on the thanksgiving mass on Friday, relating the celebration to St. Joseph’s solemnity, emphasized that the faithful truly need St. Joseph’s spiritual fatherhood to help them protect marriage and family.
In his homily, Rañola said the components of marriage have always been under attack as many people no longer know what it means to be “a man and a woman.”
He said it seems that greater confusion appears more than ever in this pandemic than in any time of human history.
“In our world where verbal and physical violence toward women is becoming prominent, Joseph’s person makes every husband desire to be a figure of respect and difference,” he said.
Rañola said in the role of Joseph as husband of Mary in the bible, the faithful are told that respect between spouses is achieved in the giving of self and that the journey of marriage requires courage and stamina, recalling the sacrifices of Joseph for Mary in the bible including their various journeys together.
He said the feast of St. Joseph also points to the greater value of being husband and wife.
He said husbands should behave “lovingly, caringly and with tender care,” while wives should also be “respectful, loving and not silent.”
“The husband and wife should imitate St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother Mary. The prudence of Joseph should be pictured in every husband of today’s pandemic,” he said.
He then called on all Catholic husbands to pray to St. Joseph, and wives to pray to Mary for guidance, so there will be love, care and concern in every family and society and so they
can try to examine well the so-called gender equality.
Before the solemn mass ended, Palma incensed the image of St. Joseph in veneration.
With St. Joseph’s paternal prayers, the Archbishop entrusts anew the entire Archdiocese to St. Joseph’s courageously creative and paternal care. (WBS)