Bishop on feast day: 'We know what's needed to know'

RALEIGH - Few things were written in the Bible about St. Joseph. But, according to Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama, “we know what’s needed.”

The bishop presided at Mass March 19, on the feast of St. Joseph at St. Joseph Church in Raleigh. It was a particularly special occasion as Pope Francis announced in December of 2020 that this would be the Year of St. Joseph.

Some Catholics gathered in the church for Mass, while others watched the Mass streamed live on the Diocese of Raleigh’s YouTube channel.

The bishop talked about how sometimes people read the Gospels and mistakenly think that the lives of the saints, such as Joseph, were easy.

“We expect that things can happen in that way. We expect an angel to come to us in a dream,” he said. “Miracles happen in our daily lives so often, but we are unable to read them because of our high expectations. The Lord knows the way to speak to us. But are we open to listen to him? Yes; Joseph had a trouble to accept Mary [as his wife] and accept the news … how easy is it for us to accept the will of God in our lives?”

The bishop went on to note that from that moment of acceptance, God trusted in Joseph and knew he would care for Mary and Jesus.

“Was Joseph perfect? No. But God trusted him that he would be able to do his best,” he said. “Sometimes graces don’t come to us as we expect because we expect it to be perfect. We are awaiting the perfect moment. No. It doesn’t work that way … God trusts in us … because he loves us. You cannot trust someone if you don’t love that person.”

At the conclusion of Mass, Bishop Luis blessed a statue of the holy family, which will be placed outside on the grounds of St. Joseph Church. To observe the feast day, some parishioners gathered in St. Monica Hall for a St. Joseph table, which was several tables arranged together in the shape of a cross and covered with white tablecloths. Parishioners brought breads to share with the community, a St. Joseph Day tradition the parish has honored for decades.