Yesterday was the Feast of St. Joseph, a favorite of mine. Joseph was a carpenter; no more needs to be said. Joseph who never said a word in Scripture taught us a great lesson. Joseph had a dream, and it was there that he learned what God was calling him to be. God was entrusting to Joseph God’s own dream, His dream to save His people. God was entrusting to Joseph His own Son, Jesus, who came to save us. The fulfillment of this dream would come when Jesus embraced the cross and went to His death to show God’s love for us.

The cross is a terrible and painful way of death, and some do not understand how we people of faith look to it as a sign of faith, hope, and love. It is because we take comfort in the cross that we know the extent of God’s desire to be with us, that His love embraced the cross so we might live.

A couple of days ago I mentioned the “comfort cross” I carry each day as I walk between St. Charles and St. Matthias. I received a second one from parishioner Phil to give to Archbishop Niederauer, who in his final days was confined to Nazareth House in San Rafael. The Archbishop held it often in those days as a constant reminder of the extent of God’s love for him. On the day the Archbishop died, his caregivers and those around him at the time sent me the photo you see with this article. Clasped in the Archbishop’s hands is the cross. The journey he had begun at the beginning of his life had now reached his destination; he was home.

The cross of confinement we carry today is a real one and it is hard. It is heavy; there is no denying that. But how we embrace and hold this cross says who we are as a people of FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE.

May you hold fast to the “Comfort Cross” of this difficult time. I realize this is a more contemplative reflection than my previous posts. Joseph who never said a word in Scripture taught us a great lesson, something the pastor should take to heart, say less, listen more.

Fr. Dave