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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

1803204. Who are you? Will you refuse? OVERCOMING DESPAIR THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST.

Tuesday, 20th MARCH.

Who are you?  Will you refuse?

John 8:21-30

Again he said to them, "I go away, and you will seek me and die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come...You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he." They said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "Even what I have told you from the beginning".

Jesus' disciples had been with Him a long time by then. They have heard His Words and seen His miracles. And after all that they are still asking, "Who are You?" We have the special task of praying for those who still don't know Who He is. Many souls are looking for the answer that can give meaning to their lives.

All the saints have had that passion (some call it 'zeal') to reach out to everyone and explain to them who Jesus Christ is, and where He is to be found so that they can go to Him. We also have that apostolic mission, to tell them that Jesus has died for them and that it is, in actual fact, He who is looking for each one of them.

On September 10, 1946, St Teresa of Calcutta felt that Jesus was asking her to take His Love to all the abandoned, the sick and the poor. In order to do that, she had to overcome many difficulties and had to take the final step of leaving her convent walls; but Jesus was in a hurry to reach many souls, and was spurring her on to reach out to those who weren't finding Jesus and didn't know Him yet. Then she heard these words from Him: *"You have come to India for me. Are you now afraid to take one more step for me? Has your generosity cooled down? Am I only secondary for you? You did not die for souls; that's why you don't care what happens to them. Your heart was never drowned in sorrow as was my Mother's heart. We both gave ourselves up totally for souls. What about you? ... Will you refuse?"*

St Teresa of Calcutta didn't refuse, as you know, and brought Jesus to thousands of those souls. Now, what about you and me? We have a similar mission... will we refuse? 

Mary, Handmaid of the Lord, you didn't refuse your mission either; help me to be faithful to mine and never refuse it.

20 MARCH, 2018, Tuesday, 5th Week of Lent



We can empathize with the Israelites in the desert.  Forty years is a long time to be wandering round and round without arriving. We can imagine their frustration and anger.  They were in the desert, in the hot and cold, no water and sometimes no food.  Some were losing hope that the Promised Land was just a dream.

In our trials and difficulties we too will feel that God has abandoned us, especially when we are walking through a tunnel, like suffering an incurable sickness, dealing with a rocky marriage or a job that is difficult.  When we see no end to our problems, we cannot but give up hope in God.  Some of us even become resentful of Him for not caring for us.  We too have our dreams of the Promised Land, but along the way, we lose our direction in life because of difficulties or challenges which seem too daunting for us to handle.

When we are tempted to give up hope, what must we do?  

Complaining like them will do us no good.  

St Paul wrote, "Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world."  (Phil 2:14-18f)  Indeed, they were punished for their lack of faith and most of all, by their inability to accept God's will and follow His divine plan.  They were bitten by the fiery serpents, symbolizing the consequences of their sins of impatience, resentment and bitterness.  So lamenting and entering into depression will lead us to other sins.  We will eventually commit more sins, such as stealing, lying, and drinking, destroying our lives.  Indeed, those who complain and whine cannot find life.

That was what Jesus said to the Jews as well.  "I am going away; you will look for me and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come."  

Why cannot we join Jesus in life and in heaven?  According to Jesus, this is because "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I have told you already: You will die in your sins. Yes, if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."  Indeed, because we do not look towards God and believe in Him and accept His divine will, we will hurt ourselves by choosing our own path in life.

How, then, should we act when we are in a dilemma?

We must first begin by contemplating on our sins and the lack of faith.  We must examine our own lives.  Socrates says that an unexamined life is not worth living.  

The truth is that the Lord made the Israelites go such a long and round about way round the Sinai Peninsula because He wanted them to mature in faith so that they could fight their enemies when they entered the Promised Land.  God's intention was to strengthen them physically and spiritually, not to punish them.  They were to be taught to trust in Him alone and no one else.  They were to be tested in fidelity and faith.

Suffering in life too, is meant to strengthen us and transform us to be leaders in suffering for others.  Last Sunday we read in Heb 5:7-9 how Christ submitted Himself so humbly in obedience to the Father.  Indeed, through our suffering we learn obedience to God's will.  If we are obedient and surrender ourselves to His will, we will find peace and freedom.  In turn, like Jesus, we become a source of inspiration to others.   Life is a question of walking the way and then showing the way.  If we have not trod the path of suffering and growth, we cannot be an inspiration to others to find their way.

This must be followed by a humble acknowledgement and confession of sins.  The people came and said to Moses, "We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents."  So long as we repent, the Lord will come to our help.  Truly, quite often in life, during our time of suffering, we seek to find scapegoats for our woes.  Instead of acknowledging our faults and failings, we point the faults at others, like the people who complained against Moses.

That is why the cure for their sickness was to contemplate on the serpent lifted up on the pole.  "Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, 'Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.' So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived." 

The Lord invites us to look at ourselves instead of blaming others for their mistakes and folly.  It is important that we begin with self-examination if we want to seek healing and His divine wisdom.

We need to go beyond contemplating on our sins.  It is through knowing the consequences of our sins that we can be led to repent.  "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.  If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.  So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.  So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith."  (Gal 6:7-10) But it is not enough.  We do not have the strength to do the right thing.

Hence, this serpent anticipates the cross of Jesus when He too was lifted up.  We are invited to contemplate on the love of Christ on the Cross.  Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing of myself: what the Father has taught me is what I preach; he who sent me is with me, and has not left me to myself, for I always do what pleases him'.  As he was saying this, many came to believe in him."  In contemplating on His love, we can repent because of His love for us.  When we think of how much He suffered for us and how He was tempted for us and suffered for our sake, we will be able to carry our cross for the love of Jesus and our loved ones even though they might be difficult to love, especially our young people or unreasonable parents.

When we reflect on God's wondrous love, we cannot but be assured that He will help us to overcome every trial.  "But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God.  For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."   (Rom 5:8-11)

But again love might not be enough to help us to continue because of the lack of certainty.  Reflecting on the resurrection will give us hope that suffering and death have been overcome and eventually those who have faith in God will find life.  Love can enable us to do many things but humanly we are weak.  That is why we need a clear confidence in the final victory and most of all, the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to love as He has loved us.   The Holy Spirit, we know, is the love of God that is poured into our hearts.  For that reason, we must contemplate on His resurrection.  Being lifted up is also a symbol of the resurrection when the Father raised Jesus from the dead.

However, this is not the crown of faith.  It is when we reflect on the mystery of the identity of Christ as the Son of God, the love of God in person.  Only by contemplating on the fact that this person who died for us is the Son of God, as in the letter of St Paul to the Philippians, can we find life.  Hence, the gospel asks, "Do we know who He truly is?"  Jesus answered, "What I have told you from the outset. About you I have much to say and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is truthful, and what I have learnt from him I declare to the world."

He is none other than the Father's only Son.  "You will know that I am He and that I do nothing of myself: what the Father has taught me is what I preach; he who sent me is with me, and has not left me to myself, for I always do what pleases him."   The death and resurrection of Jesus will be the credentials that express the Father's heart of love and mercy; and the resurrection as the endorsement of His message and identity.

As we prepare for the celebration of the Easter Mysteries, especially the Eucharist which is the celebration of His passion, death and resurrection, let us deepen our contemplation on His love and mercy in the passion and the resurrection.  Let us come to Jesus as He invites us, when He said, "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." (Mt 11:28)  May our contemplation on His death and resurrection lead us to share in His resurrection and glory as we die to ourselves with Him and find new life, love, and hope!

Written by The Most Rev William Goh, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore © All Rights Reserved


Mutiara Iman


20 Maret 2018

_"jika ia melihatnya, akan tetap hidup."_
(Bil 21:8)

Bil. 21:4-9; Mzm. 102:2-3,16-18,19-21; Yoh. 8:21-30.

Ketika hendak menjalankan tugasnya mengirim "barang haram", Lukas harus berhenti di samping gereja karena hujan deras turun. Sambil membawa "barang" tersebut, diapun berteduh di pekarangan gereja. Ketika sedang berteduh, terlihat seorang Bapak berkata kepada 1 anak muda :
"Tuhan akan memberkati kamu dan menjauhkan kamu dari bahaya narkoba. Ingatlah akan SALIB YESUS, ketika godaan itu datang."

Lalu Lukas pun MEMANDANG Salib yang ditunjuk oleh Bapak itu dan tanpa terasa dia membayangkan begitu banyak orang yang menderita karena Narkoba. Tanpa terasa air mata pun menetes di pipinya. Lalu dia segera melarikan sepeda motornya, membawa barang itu kembali pada bos nya dan berkata :
"Mas.. saya mau BERHENTI. Saya tidak sanggup melakukannya!"

Dengan kaget Bosnya bertanya :
"Siapa yang sudah membujuk kamu BERHENTI?"

Jawab Lukas :

Maka berfirmanlah TUHAN kepada Musa :
"Buatlah ular tedung dan taruhlah itu pada sebuah tiang; maka setiap orang yang terpagut, jika ia melihatnya, akan tetap hidup."

Ketika kita melihat Salib Tuhan, ada KESELAMATAN dan KEHIDUPAN.

Ya Tuhan, karena salib-Mu kuhidup. Amin.

_Marilah kita selalu memandang salib Tuhan yang akan memberikan KEHIDUPAN._

*Have a Blessed Tuesday.*



Bacaan Liturgi Selasa 20 Maret 2018
Hari Biasa Pekan Prapaskah V.

Bacaan Pertama Bil 21:4-9
Mazmur 102:2-3.16-18.19-20
Bacaan Injil Yoh 8:21-30.

Injil Yohanes 8:24, menulis.
Yesus berkata: "Sebab jikalau kamu tidak percaya, bahwa Akulah Dia, kamu akan mati dalam dosamu."

Orang banyak mendengarkan pengajaran Yesus. Kepada mereka, Yesus menyatakan dengan terbuka tentang siapakah Dia dan siapakah pendengarnya. "Kamu berasal dari bawa, Aku dari atas; kamu dari dunia ini, Aku bukan dari dunia ini. Sebab jikalau kamu tidak percaya, bahwa akulah Dia, kamu akan mati dalam dosamu." 

Walaupun mereka mempertanyakan asal Yesus, toh akhirnya banyak orang yang percaya kepadaNya. Yesus senantiasa mengingatkan kita tentang siapakah kita sebenarnya. Kita berasal dari dunia ini, sedangkan Yesus berasal dari surga. Cara dan sikap Yesus adalah cara surgawi dalam kenyataan duniawi. 

Kadangkala kita sendiri tidak mampu memahami cara Allah menyatakan diriNya. Kita mengeluh, karena Allah tidak memenuhi harapan dan keinginan kita. Kita perlu belajar, bagaimana Allah hadir dalam setiap peristiwa hidup kita. 

Ingatlah bahwa setiap peristiwa merupakan rencana dan cara Allah menyatakan diriNya. Kita hanya dituntut sikap percaya dan setia kepadaNya. Karena kalau kita tidak percaya dan setia kepadaNya kita akan mati dalam dosa-dosa kita.

Tuhan, ajarilah aku untuk memahami setiap peristiwa hidup ini.  Biarkanlah aku merasa tuntunan tanganMu, sehingga aku pantas menjadi anakMu sendiri. Bila imanku lemah, kuatkanlah. Bila kepercayaanku kepadaMu suram, siramilah aku dengan RohMu. Amin.
Met Hari Selasa.


Dikutip dari: Kencan Dengan Tuhan
Selasa, 20 Maret 2018


  Hiduplah untuk hari ini dan bukan untuk hari kemarin atau hari esok. Suatu riset mengatakan kira-kira 30% populasi di Amerika menderita insomnia - penyakit susah tidur. Sekitar 10 juta orang Amerika tergantung pada obat supaya dapat tidur dengan baik. Setelah diselidiki ternyata penyebab insomnia adalah kekuatiran dan depresi. Penyebab yang lain karena minuman yang mengandung kafein.
  Jika kita hidup berserah dan berharap kepada Tuhan, maka kita akan merasakan betapa indahnya berjalan bersama Tuhan. 

" Apa manfaatnya engkau gelisah untuk sesuatu yang belum pasti terjadi di hari esok. Hari ini adalah milikmu, berkaryalah hari ini karena hari esok belum tentu ada untukmu." 

Tuhan memberkati.

Yesus, lepaskanlah kekuatiran dalam diriku dan gantilah dengan pengharapan bahwa bersama dengan Engkau ada sukacita dan jalan keluar bsgi setiap masalahku. Amin.

180320. Salib Tuhan. Percaya dan Setia Kepada Tuhan.

TUHAN terkadang membuat anda merasakan beratnya salib.

Meskipun beratnya tampak tak tertahankan, anda dapat memikulnya, karena Tuhan, dalam kasih dan pengampunanNya, mengulurkan tangan kepada anda dan memberi anda kekuatan.

*St. Padre Pio dari Pietrelcina*

*Percaya dan Setia Kepada Tuhan*

YESUS menyatakan bahwa Ia bukan berasal dari dunia ini, tapi Ia datang ke dunia untuk melaksanakan kehendak Bapa. Ia mengurbankan diri di salib untuk menyelamatkan manusia dan  siapa saja yang percaya kepadaNya akan mengalami kehidupan abadi.

Sebagai pengikut Kristus, kepercayaan kita terhadapNya hendaknya tidak berhenti di bibir saja. Melainkan harus diwujudkan ke dalam tindakan nyata, dan tercermin pada sikap hidup kita sehari-hari.

Kita harus berani untuk meninggalkan zona kenyamanan, melepaskan diri dari cengkeraman lumpur dosa, bangkit dan melangkah di jalanNya meskipun menghadapi aneka hambatan dan godaan.

Perjalanan hidup memang tidak mudah, dan Tuhan pun tidak pernah menjanjikan jalanan yang rata, bebas dari kerikil, tikungan dan jurang yang dalam. Namun Ia menjanjikan penyertaanNya yang tidak berkesudahan di sepanjang hidup kita.

Pandanglah Yesus yang tersalib. Renungkan sengsara dan penderitaanNya, rasakan kasihNya yang begitu besar bagi kita.

Jangan mengandalkan kemampuan sendiri, tapi senantiasalah bersekutu denganNya agar kita memperoleh kekuatan dan semangat baru dalam menjalani kehidupan ini.

Setialah melangkah bersamaNya, maka kita dimampukan untuk menapaki jalan salibNya dengan penuh iman, harapan dan kasih.

Monday, March 19, 2018

1903197. Perbanyak Silatuhami dan Ngopi. Kurang Silaturahmi dan Ngopi terjadi Miskomunikasi .

Perbanyak Silatuhami dan Ngopi. Kurang Silaturahmi dan Ngopi terjadi Miskomunikasi

Setelah selesai Istighotsah dan Dzikir Akbar bersama Abuya  K.H Muhtadi Dimyati Cidahu (Syuriah Pengurus Besar PBNU) pada tanggal 16 Maret 2018, saya bersama Sie HAAK Paroki St. Odilia Citra Raya diundang memperdalam pesan Dari Abuya K.H. Muhtadi tersebut  di rumah Bapak Munir, Sekretaris Ansor Kabupaten Tangerang, bersama Anggota Banser dan Ansor. Hadir juga dalam pendalaman itu adalah Ustad Aspiyani, Wakil MUI Kecamatan Tigaraksa yang terpilih.  Istighotsah dan Dzikir akbar tersebut  mengambil tempat di Halaman Musholla di Perum Mustika Tigaraksa dan dihadiri ribuan umat muslim. Pesan  dari Abuya K.H. Muhtadi adalah kita harus menjaga NKRI dan Pancasila.

Dalam pendalaman tersebut, munculah satu ide untuk menjaga NKRI dan Pancasila dengan memperbanyak  silaturahmi dan ngopi  karena kurang silaturahmi dan ngopi akan terjadi miskomunikasi.

Perbincangan dalam suasana penuh keakraban ini membuat tidak terasa waktu sudah larut malam (sudah menunjuk pergantian hari).

Silaturahmi  berbuah Nilai-Nilai keutamaan, yaitu :

1. Silaturahmi membuat manusia saling mengenal satu sama lain serta kasih sayang dan kerjasama yang baik dapat terwujud.
2. Silaturahmi membangun persatuan dan kesatuan di dalam masyarakat sehingga  terwujudlah sikap  dialog dan saling pengertian.
3. Silaturahmi membuat berbagai persoalan dapat diselesaikan dengan rasa kasih sayang.
4. Dalam silaturahmi,  ide-ide yang baik demi kepentingan  bersama terlahirkan.
5. Silaturahmi  menambah wawasan  kebangsaan.

Semoga silaturahmi semakin menjadi habitus sehingga memperkuat kasih  sayang kepada sesama dan cinta tanah air. Persatuan membawa rahmat, tetapi perpecahan membawa kehancuran.

Kita Bhinneka, Kita Indonesia, Salam Persatuan

Dari Romo Felix Supranto, SS.CC

1803196. Just Joke. Kisah Dua Pastor lagi cuti di Hawai.

Dua orang pastor bermaksud pergi cuti ke Hawaii.
Mereka ingin kesempatan cuti ini benar2 suatu liburan, dengan cara berpakaian berbeda dari penampilan sehari2 sehingga tidak ada yg tahu bahwa  mereka adalah pastor.

Setiba di Hawaii, mereka membeli pakaian2 dan aksesoris yg seronok spt celana pendek, kaos2 fashion, sandal, kacamata hitam dsb...

Esok paginya mereka mengenakan semua pakaian itu dan duduk bersantai di pantai menikmati minuman ringan dan pemandangan sekitar.

Lalu seorang perempuan muda yg bukan main cantiknya dg rambut pirang dan baju renang model "bikini" menghampiri mereka.
Mata kedua pastor tak berkedip!

Si pirang mengangguk dan menyapa mereka satu persatu sambil tersenyum:  "Selamat pagi, Pastor! Selamat pagi Pastor!"
Dan berlalu.
Mereka berdua terheran2. Bagaimana mungkin perempuan itu tahu kalau mereka adalah pastor?!

Hari berikutnya mereka kembali ke toko dan membeli pakaian yg lebih mencolok lagi yg mungkin tidak ada orang lain yg berani memakainya.

Sekali lagi mereka duduk di pantai dg baju2 yg baru mereka beli itu.
Beberapa saat kemudian si pirang lewat lagi memakai bikini warna lain dan dengan genitnya menyapa mereka lagi: "Selamat pagi Pastor! Selamat pagi Pastor!" sebelum melanjutkan perjalanannya.
Salah satu pastor tidak dapat menahan keheranannya. Lalu bertanya: "Kami memang pastor dan bangga dgn itu. Tapi bagaimana anda tahu kami Pastor, sedangkan kami berpakaian seperti ini?"
Si pirang menjawab:
"Pastor! Ini saya.... Suster Maria!"

Suster juga perlu berlibur bukan??

1803195. St Joseph, Spouse of Mary. Ite ad Joseph! Go to Joseph. ST JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF MARY.

Monday, 19th MARCH
St Joseph, Spouse of Mary

Ite ad Joseph! Go to Joseph.

Luke 2:41-51

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions...and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously." 

And he said to them, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" 

And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.

The most wonderful Treasures of God (Jesus and Mary) could not be entrusted to anyone other than St Joseph. No one, ever, has been trusted more and so, no one ever has been given more. 

St Joseph is compared to the other Patriarch, Joseph, the son of Jacob. Sold by his brothers, he ended up a slave in Egypt. But God was with him and eventually he was entrusted with all of Pharaoh's fortune. So when the famine came and people started asking Pharaoh for help, he just told them: 

Ite ad Joseph! (Go to Joseph!)

If you want to find Jesus, go to Joseph – he found Him after three sorrowful days; 

if you want to love Jesus, go to Joseph – he loves Him madly;

 if you want to love Mary, go to Joseph – no man has ever loved his wife like him; 

if you want to be always close to Jesus and Mary, go to Joseph – no one has ever been closer to them; 

if you want to pray, go to Joseph – he spent his life in dialogue with God; 

if you go through difficulties, go to Joseph – he knows all about suffering.

 If you want to be strong, he is the saint to go to; 

if you want to be obedient, chaste, generous, humble, joyful, sincere... 

if you want to be holy: Ite ad Joseph! Go to Joseph.

If you want to be in love with God, to work with God, to live with God, to stay always with God, to dream God's dreams, to serve God and spend your eternity with Him... Ite ad Joseph!... Go to Joseph. God entrusted him with His Family, he is in charge of the house of God; he will open for us the door of Bethlehem, of Nazareth and of Heaven if we go to him. He protected God and His Immaculate Mother... he can protect you as well if you want.

Holy Mary, Spouse of Joseph, remind me to go to him, for it would be foolish of me not to count on him in my struggle

19 MARCH, 2018, Monday, St Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M.


SCRIPTURE READINGS: [2 SAM 7:4-5. 12-14. 16; PS 89:2-5,27,29; ROM 4:13. 16-18. 22; MATT 1:16. 18-21. 24 or LUKE 2:41-51  ]

Today as we celebrate the Solemnity of St Joseph, the husband of Mary, we are invited to reflect on how men can be good husbands to their wives.  This indeed is a timely reflection because the roles of husband and wife have changed and evolved over the years.  

In the past, husbands were the breadwinner of the family and wives stayed at home to be homemaker.  Boys were generally given higher education whereas girls, unless they came from rich and educated families, were given only basic education.  The thinking was that the woman's place was at home with the children, looking after the family, whilst the husband must go out and eke out a living for the family.  He was seen as the financial supplier and often a strict discipline master.  Under the patriarchal system, the father was the head of the family and all had to obey him and submit to his decisions.

In today's world, especially in modern society, most men and women have the same education and compete equally academically.  Many women are very bright, intelligent and do well in their studies.  Many are doing well in their businesses, careers and professional life.  Some are leaders in government and in the corporate world.   Many are highly qualified and more successful than their husbands.  They are great leaders in society and earn much more money than their spouse.  They do not spend as much time at home because of their career and commitments.   This change in the roles of husband and wife must be taken into account when reflecting on how husbands are called to support their wives.

The patriarchal model of the husband as the head of the family and accorded total obedience must be contextualized.  In the uncomfortable message of St Paul's letter to the Ephesians, he wrote, "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands."  (Eph 5:22-24)   This passage is true within the conditions that presuppose how wives are to be subjected to the husbands.   Without the prevailing conditions, this exhortation will lead to dictatorship, authoritarianism and the consequent abuses of authority.   We must be careful that we do not take the advice of St Paul out of context.

St Paul was making the comparison between the husband's role and that of Christ.  The demands on the husband is great if he wishes his wife to obey him or submit to him in obedience.  He must first be like Christ who is the head of the Church.  Christ commands our obedience only because He has earned it by His life, death and resurrection.  How Christ acts for the Church is the way husbands must act for their wives.  In other words, obedience to the husband who is the head of the household is credible only if the conditions permit it.

Firstly, a good husband is one who loves his wife.  St Paul said, "Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,  because we are members of his body.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."  (Eph 5:28-31)  That was how St Joseph loved Mary.  He loved her so much that loving himself meant that he put Mary's welfare and security before his own.  When Joseph was told that she was pregnant, Joseph's reaction was not one of vindictiveness or revenge.  Instead of exposing her, shaming her and even having her stoned to death, Joseph, "being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally."  Joseph cared for her more than he cared for his own interests, dignity and honour.

Secondly, a good husband's greatest gift to his wife is the gift of himself.  This is what St Paul wrote,  "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish."  (Eph 5:25-27)  If husbands want their wives to obey them, they must first learnt to obey their wives!  Husbands are called to make themselves a living sacrifice for their wives and give their lives entirely for the good of their wives more than for themselves.  Wives are not called to serve the husbands as if they are kings in the house; rather, husbands are called to be sacrificial servants to their wives.  If the husband's intent is on doing what is best for his wife, there is no reason why any wife would not want to submit to him, since he desires what is truly good and holy for his wife.  It is in the wife's interest to go along with the husband because he puts her needs, preferences and happiness before his.

Again, this was the case of St Joseph.  He put the interests of Mary before his own.  For Joseph, it was more important that Mary fulfilled her vocation to be the mother of our Lord.  He was happy to take second place and simply be the foster father.  He was not envious of Mary being given the great honour to be the mother of Christ.  For the sake of Mary's vocation, he remained a celibate and without having a child of his own.  But if that was what it took to support Mary in her vocation, Joseph was willing to put aside his own needs and aspirations.  "He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream … he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do."  So too, many husbands today are ready to become homemakers or take a less prominent role in public life and allow their wives to excel, whether in politics or in the corporate world.  They do not vie with their wives for fame and popularity.  In fact, they are happy for them and willing to play the second fiddle.  This is a great sacrifice indeed, considering that most men are egoistic and seek attention and glory.  In any case, husbands must see their wives as equal partners in the relationship and in the raising of the family, respect their intelligence and unique gifts, acknowledging them as equals.  This is concretely what it means for husbands and wives to lay down their lives for each other as Christ sacrificed His life for His Church.

Thirdly, a good husband is faithful.  He protects the marriage from enemies within and without, at home with in-laws and without with tempters.  Joseph was not judgmental when he heard that Mary was pregnant with child.  He could have walked away from the marriage.  Although he could not understand how it was possible, he continued to trust in Mary.   He was faithful to Mary even when doubts were raised because of her pregnancy.  But Joseph, being a just man, would not condemn anyone until proven beyond doubt.  He believed in Mary's story.  That is what a faithful husband must do.  He must allow his wife to share with him her sorrows, her pains, her anxiety and her fears.  She needs a confidante whom she can share openly without reservation, knowing that she would not be judged, condemned or rejected.  She needs a husband who is supportive, encouraging and affirming.

Finally, a good husband must be a leader in example, especially in faith and virtues.  If a husband is to be the head of the household then he too must follow Christ who led by example.  He must be a man of faith like Joseph who trusted in God and in His divine providence.  Indeed, Joseph is that man of faith that St Paul spoke about when he portrayed Abraham as a man of faith.  Joseph too trusted in God completely, even when he could not understand.  His faith was expressed concretely in action.  He did what the angel told him to do.   He was an obedient man like Abraham who was obedient to God even though it seemed his "hope could not be fulfilled, he hoped and he believed, and through doing what he did became the father of many nations exactly as he had been promised". 

This is why the Church venerates St Joseph as the Patron for the Universal Church. Indeed, no better husband can any wife find than in a husband who is a god-fearing man, who obeys His word and seeks to live out the gospel truths and values.

All these would not have been possible if not for the fact that Joseph was a praying person and a contemplative. Joseph was a man of silent contemplation.  He is not heard at all in the gospel.  However, he was one who listened deeply and attentively to the Word of God, which often came to him in his dreams and in his ordinary life during the day.  Even as he worked, we can be sure that the presence of God was around him all day.   Only because he heard the voice of God, was he able to act calmly and righteously in difficult moments, walking by faith, not by sight, trusting in His divine providence.   We look therefore to St Joseph for a model of how we can be good and loving husbands to our wives.

Written by The Most Rev William Goh, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore © All Rights Reserved

1803194. Bacaan Liturgi 19 Maret 2018 HR S. Yusuf, Suami S.P. Maria.

Firman Tuhan kepada hambaNya:
Aku akan mengokohkan kerajaannya.
Aku akan menjadi Bapanya

Takhtanya kokoh selama-lamanya."

Abraham  bapa banyak bangsa.
Kepada Allah  Abraham percaya

Allah menghidupkan dengan firman-Nya 

tidak ada menjadi ada.

Yusuf  suami tulus hati,
tidak mau mencemarkan isteri

bermaksud diam-diam bercerai

malaikat nampak dalam mimpi

Keturunanmu akan berseru kepada-Ku

"Tuhan Allah, Bapakulah Engkau, 

Allahku gunung batu keselamatanku.
Aku memelihara kasih setia-Ku 


Bacaan Liturgi 19 Maret 2018
HR S. Yusuf, Suami S.P. Maria

Bacaan Pertama
2Sam 7:4-5a.12-14a.16
Tuhan Allah akan memberikan kepada Dia
takhta Daud bapa-Nya.

Pembacaan dari Kitab Kedua Samuel:

Pada suatu malam
datanglah firman Tuhan kepada Natan,
"Pergilah, katakanlah kepada hamba-Ku Daud:
Beginilah firman Tuhan:
Apabila umurmu sudah genap,
dan engkau telah mendapat istirahat bersama nenek moyangmu,
Aku akan membangkitkan keturunanmu yang kemudian,
anak kandungmu,
dan Aku akan mengokohkan kerajaannya.
Dialah yang akan mendirikan rumah bagi nama-Ku,
dan Aku akan mengokohkan takhta kerajaannya
untuk selama-lamanya.
Aku akan menjadi Bapanya, dan ia akan menjadi anak-Ku.
Keluarga dan kerajaanmu
akan kokoh untuk selama-lamanya di hadapan-Ku,
takhtamu akan kokoh untuk selama-lamanya."

Demikianlah sabda Tuhan.

Mzm 89:2-3.4-5.27.29
Anak cucunya akan lestari untuk selama-lamanya.

*Aku hendak menyanyikan kasih setia Tuhan selama-lamanya,
hendak menuturkan kesetiaan-Mu turun-temurun.
Sebab kasih setia-Mu dibangun untuk selama-lamanya;
kesetiaan-Mu tegak seperti langit.

*Engkau berkata,
"Telah Kuikat perjanjian dengan orang pilihan-Ku,
Aku telah bersumpah kepada Daud, hamba-Ku:
Aku hendak menegakkan anak cucumu untuk selama-lamanya,
dan membangun takhtamu turun-temurun."

*Dia pun akan berseru kepada-Ku, "Bapakulah Engkau,
Allahku dan gunung batu keselamatanku.
Aku akan memelihara kasih setia-Ku bagi dia
dan perjanjian-Ku dengannya akan Kupegang teguh."

Bacaan Kedua
Rom 4:13.16-18.22
Sekalipun tidak ada dasar untuk berharap,
Abraham toh berharap dan percaya.

Pembacaan dari Surat Rasul Paulus
kepada Jemaat di Roma:

Bukan karena hukum Taurat
Abraham dan keturunannya diberi janji
bahwa mereka akan memiliki dunia,
tetapi karena kebenaran atas dasar iman.

Kebenaran yang berdasarkan iman itu
merupakan kasih karunia belaka.
Maka janji kepada Abraham itu berlaku bagi semua keturunannya,
bukan hanya bagi mereka yang hidup dari hukum Taurat,
tetapi juga bagi mereka yang hidup dari iman Abraham.
Sebab di hadapan Allah Abraham adalah bapa kita semua,
seperti ada tertulis,
"Engkau telah Kutetapkan menjadi bapa banyak bangsa."
Kepada Allah itulah Abraham percaya,
yaitu Allah yang menghidupkan orang mati
dan yang dengan firman-Nya
menciptakan yang tidak ada menjadi ada.

Sebab sekalipun tidak ada dasar untuk berharap,
Abraham toh berharap dan percaya,
bahwa ia akan menjadi bapa banyak bangsa,
sebab Allah telah berfirman kepadanya,
"Begitu banyaklah nanti keturunanmu."
Dan hal itu diperhitungkan kepadanya sebagai kebenaran.

Demikianlah sabda Tuhan.

Bait Pengantar Injil
Mzm 84:5
Berbahagialah orang yang diam di rumah-Mu,
yang memuji-muji Engkau tanpa henti.

Bacaan Injil
Mat 1:16.18-21.24a
Yusuf berbuat seperti yang diperintahkan malaikat Tuhan.

Inilah Injil Yesus Kristus menurut Matius:

Menurut silsilah Yesus Kristus,
Yakub memperanakkan Yusuf, suami Maria,
yang melahirkan Yesus yang disebut Kristus.
Sebelum Kristus lahir,
Maria, ibu-Nya, bertunangan dengan Yusuf.
sebelum mereka hidup sebagai suami isteri.

Karena Yusuf suaminya, seorang yang tulus hati,
dan tidak mau mencemarkan nama isterinya di muka umum,
ia bermaksud menceraikannya dengan diam-diam.

Tetapi ketika Yusuf mempertimbangkan maksud itu,
malaikat Tuhan nampak kepadanya dalam mimpi dan berkata,
"Yusuf, anak Daud,
janganlah engkau takut mengambil Maria sebagai isterimu,
sebab anak yang di dalam kandungannya adalah dari Roh Kudus.
Maria akan melahirkan anak laki-laki,
dan engkau akan menamakan Dia Yesus,
karena Dialah yang akan menyelamatkan umat-Nya
dari dosa mereka."
Sesudah bangun dari tidurnya,
Yusuf berbuat seperti yang diperintahkan malaikat Tuhan itu

Demikianlah sabda Tuhan.

Luk 2:41-51a
"Bapa-Mu dan aku dengan cemas mencari Engkau."

Inilah Injil Yesus Kristus menurut Lukas:

Tiap-tiap tahun,  pada hari raya Paskah,
orang tua Yesus pergi ke Yerusalem.
Ketika Yesus telah berumur dua belas tahun,
pergilah mereka ke Yerusalem seperti yang lazim pada hari raya itu.
Seusai hari-hari perayaan itu,
ketika mereka berjalan pulang,
tinggallah Yesus di Yerusalem tanpa diketahui orangtua-Nya.
Karena mereka menyangka
bahwa Yesus ada di antara orang-orang seperjalanan mereka,
berjalanlah mereka sehari perjalanan jauhnya,
lalu baru mencari Dia di antara kaum keluarga dan kenalan.
Karena tidak menemukan Dia,
kembalilah Maria dan Yusuf ke Yerusalem
sambil terus mencari Dia.

Sesudah tiga hari,
mereka menemukan Yesus dalam Bait Allah;
Ia sedang duduk di tengah-tengah alim ulama,
sambil mendengarkan mereka,
dan mengajukan pertanyaan-pertanyaan kepada mereka.
Semua orang yang mendengar Dia
sangat heran akan kecerdasan dan segala jawab yang diberikan-Nya.

Ketika Maria dan Yusuf melihat Dia, tercenganglah mereka.
Lalu kata ibu-Nya kepada-Nya,
"Nak, mengapakah Engkau berbuat demikian terhadap kami?
Bapa-Mu dan aku dengan cemas mencari Engkau."
Jawab Yesus kepada mereka,
"Mengapa kamu mencari Aku?
Tidakkah kamu tahu
bahwa Aku harus berada di dalam rumah Bapa-Ku?"
Tetapi mereka tidak mengerti
apa yang dikatakan Yesus kepada mereka.

Lalu Yesus pulang bersama-sama mereka ke Nazaret;
dan Ia tetap hidup dalam asuhan mereka.
Dan ibu-Nya menyimpan semua perkara itu di dalam hatinya.

Demikianlah sabda Tuhan.