Fr. Paul D. Scalia: The Father We Need

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*Image: Christ Crowning St. Joseph by Francisco de Zurbarán, c. 1648 [Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, Seville, Spain]

By Fr. Paul D. Scalia, The Catholic Thing, Dec. 27, 2020

Fr. Paul Scalia is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Va, where he serves as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy. His new book is That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion.

Most of us know today’s Gospel scene (Lk 2:22-40) as the Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation in the Temple. But it is also one of the Seven Sorrows and Seven Joys of Saint Joseph. His heart is filled with sorrow at Simeon’s prophecy that the Christ Child “is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed.” At the same time, Joseph rejoices to hear his Son proclaimed as the Lord’s “salvation” and “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to…Israel.”

Now, we should all sorrow and rejoice when meditating on this scene. But Joseph experiences this sorrow and joy in a unique manner: as the father of Jesus. Indeed, his experience of this event flows from and points to the reality of his fatherhood.  …