The founder of the Trigo Schools for Preachers in Mexico was the April presenter during the monthly virtual reflection on the Litany of St. Joseph for the Hispanic community sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry.
Salvador Gomez, at the outset, said that he was pleased to be invited to give the April 30 presentation. It is important, he said, that the organizers have been using virtual tools to continue delivering the Word of God amid pandemic restrictions.
“Pope Francis says that St. Joseph can be a guide and model for difficult times,” Gomez noted. “Everyone can find in St. Joseph a man of daily presence, of discretion—an intercessor, a man of support, a guide in times of difficulties...We can all see his virtues. The virtuous person seeks out ways to do good with concrete actions. With virtue, we give of the best of ourselves.”
Gomez told his audience that the virtues of St. Joseph enabled him to take care of his family, and to protect them under adverse circumstances. Prudence was the main virtue that defined St. Joseph, he said, citing his decision to do the will of the Lord in silence and obedience, after learning that Mary was with child.
“Because quietude was a way to demonstrate love at that moment,” said Gomez, citing the need, during these pandemic times, to emulate that virtue in lieu of feeling overwhelmed by panicked rhetoric in the media and in our interpersonal encounters.
“Brothers and sisters, let us learn from St. Joseph; during moments of difficulty, we must be prudent, we must rely on silence and act with sensibleness,” Gomez said. “That is what St. Joseph did, such as when the angel told him to return to Israel, to take with him the child and his mother...Alerted in a dream, he went with them to the region of Galilee, to a city called Nazareth.”
Gomez, citing Pope Francis and Gospel verses, also spoke about the virtues of faith and hope, noting that they also were certainly among St. Joseph’s virtues, demonstrated through his faith in the Lord amid the dire presence of dangers, and maintaining hope while protecting Mary and Baby Jesus.
He spoke of St. Joseph “re-inventing himself” when faced with hardships—and that this is an important lesson for many facing pandemic-related hardships, such as seeking alternative ways to make a living. He also talked about the gifts of salvation and eternal life. In alluding to the virtues of prudence, faith and hope, Gomez twice declared: “The problems that we have today are the testimonies that we will give tomorrow...Maintain faith and trust in the Lord.”
The monthly virtual event began Jan. 29 and will continue on the last Friday of each month until the end of the yearlong St. Joseph celebration Dec. 8. The start time is 8 p.m. For livestream information, viewers can visit the Hispanic Ministry facebook site: facebook/hispanicministryny.
Father Lorenzo Ato is the host of the monthly reflection. He is director of communications for the Office of Hispanic Ministry, and serves as pastor of St. Brigid-St. Emeric parish in Manhattan. Every month, a different theologian speaks on the Litany of St. Joseph.
With the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (With a Father’s Heart), Pope Francis commemorated the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the pope proclaimed a “Year of St. Joseph” from Dec. 8, 2020 to Dec. 8, 2021.
Father Ato prayed that during these difficult times, “we all have the hope, the faith and the trust that St. Joseph had in our celestial Father.”
Zoila Ramirez, a parishioner of St. Lucy’s in the Bronx, was among the viewers of Gomez’s presentation. “We have learned a lot about St. Joseph during each of these reflections,” the married mother of two told Catholic New York, adding that she enjoyed Gomez’s entire talk.