Looking ahead to Easter, I’ll invite that we glance back a week, so we can pay homage to St. Patrick and St. Joseph, whose feasts we celebrated March 17 and 19. God gives us saints as models, examples of ordinary men and women who take what’s given them and do marvelous things, who learn that God’s plan for them is not always what they imagined it would be. So, they make God’s plan theirs and work with what’s given them every day to do good. Probably few of us imagined the dramatic shifts that have taken hold in our lives over the past few weeks, but we, too, are similarly called to be saints. 

St. Patrick, a fifth-century Roman Britain, was captured by Irish pirates when he was about 14 years old. Abducted to Ireland and enslaved by pagan Druids there for 6 years, he developed a faith that sustained him till his escape back to England. Years later he returned, a priest, and over 40 years of courageous ministry, he converted the nation to Christianity. Today we pray Patrick’s poem of faith and trust in God, “The Breastplate”: "Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger."

St. Joseph, a patron saint of the Xaverian Brothers, also discovered the surprise of God’s plan for him and acquiesced to it. Standing by his betrothed Mary, he protected and guided his adopted son; he held the family together in challenging times. So, today, as we discern God’s plans for us, we invoke God through His saints: Father, you entrusted our Savior Jesus to the care of St. Joseph. May we be inspired by the model of St. Joseph as father, husband, worker and provider.... to commit ourselves to strong family life..... to encourage respect for all workers.... and to support action for justice in all workplaces. May St. Joseph intercede with you for health for those in illness, for strength for those facing new uncertainties, and for the good of us all, who place ourselves in his care........ May St. Joseph and St. Patrick, help us to find joy amidst challenges, and may they pray for God’s lasting blessings on the good work of Malden Catholic.

By the help of our prayers, through St. Patrick and St. Joseph, may all your Church continue to serve its Lord, Jesus Christ, who lives with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever...... Amen.