March 23, 2017
Today's Mass readings include Psalm 95 with the familiar response "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts." The two great Solemnities (St. Joseph's Day and the Feast of the Annunciation) that fall within this novena are premier examples of what the Psalmist means. Joseph and Mary responded perfectly to the voice of God, and their cooperation with God's will permitted the Incarnation to take place. "But," we might say, "if God would also send an angel to speak directly to me, I would be able to do what He wants." It sounds simple enough, but what is really essential is not the manner of receiving the message so much as our openness to it. God can only speak to us when we are listening, and it was because Mary and Joseph were truly listening that they could so wonderfully respond. What is listening? It is faithfulness to the revealed Word of God, which in turn attunes our ear to Him when He speaks to us in other ways.