The fourth sorrow of Saint Joseph is the prophecy of Simon that this child will be the sign of love but also a sign of contradiction. He will be a sign of heavenly love but He will be contradicted. And the heart of the mother will be pierced by a sword.
Let us take go back to many years ago and we bring ourselves to the foot of the Calvary and let us listen to the Last Words of Christ– Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.
They do not know what they are doing. Hindi nila alam ang kanilang ginagawa (They do not know what they are doing.) Do you believe this? I do not believe this. They knew what they were doing. They knew that when someone is nailed to the cross, he can die. They knew that piercing the body can lead to death. They knew that lashing and causing multiple wounds to the body may result to death. They knew that he was thirsty and the thirsty is given water to drink. They knew all of that. It was not because they were unconscious or that they were not aware of what they were doing. No, I don’t think so. I think what the Lord meant when he said, “They know not what they do”…is they do not know how much I love them. They didn’t know how much I love them. If they only knew how much I love them, they will not do this to me.
Why? Because just as the Church teaches us – What is sin? Sin is a betrayal of love. And if you have yet to experience love and you do not know that you are being loved, then you are not committing a sin because you have not yet experienced how to be loved. In the calvary, the Lord says, he became the ‘sign of contradiction’ because I am the sign of love but they refuse to accept because they refuse my love for them. They don’t know how much I love them. If they will only know how much I love them, they will not do this, heavenly Father. If they only know that this sacrifice is for them, they will not do this to me, loving Father.
That was the beginning of it all – the child shall become the sign of love. But He will be rejected, His love will be rejected. And because His love was rejected, the very people He loved were the ones who put Him to death. That is the big contradiction.
And did Joseph understand that? Did Joseph know that? Probably not. But he also knew what it is to love and not be loved in return. And to love and be refused, instead of being accepted. At this moment, let us reflect and immerse in the truth that God loves us. And because God loves us so, I will do everything to show my gratitude to God. I feel a deep sense of indebtedness for the love that I have received. I repeat – What is sin? Sin is the betrayal of love. You know you have been loved and you betray it. You know you have been loved and you abandon it. You know you have been loved and you ignore it and take things for granted. Let us not take for granted God’s love for us.
Father, we know your love for us and you have shown that love through Jesus, Your son. Saint Joseph saw that love. May we see the same love. May we love the same way. Amen.