Today we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph – probably the second most important saint after Mary. Joseph is not quoted in today’s gospel of anywhere in the Bible, but much we know much about him:
We know he was a righteous, just and holy man
Of all the men in history, God entrusted him to protect Jesus and Mary. Knowing that Jesus would be the target of many, this is an enormous responsibility. Joseph went about this in a quiet, confident way.
Every husband and father has been entrusted to love and protect our wives and our children. It is for this reason that St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers and husbands.
As Christian fathers, it is also our role to make sure our children are raised to follow Jesus’ commandments.
We know that Joseph was prayerful and obedient
He understood bible teachings, he prayed and was receptive to the Word of God
Today the angel appears to Joseph and asks him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. Mary is pregnant and he cannot be the father. Mary could have been stoned to death according to Jewish law.
For Joseph, this is crushing news and his world was being turned upside down. But he decides to quietly divorce her and protect her from shame and cruelty. He chose to bear whatever embarrassment this may cause him.
God knows our fears and our anxieties – he also knows what we need and what is best for us – He wants us to understand the truth and to not be afraid.
If an angel came to us, would we even hear it?
God may not send an angel to us in a dream, but he will reveal his plan for us through our experiences, our interactions with others, our struggles and our joys.
If we did receive God’s message, would we have the confidence to obey?
He is probably not going to ask us to do anything extraordinary, but he may ask us to give up a recurring sin, to forgive someone, or to move our lives in a different direction. To follow will likely require sacrifice and discomfort.
He was humble
Listened more, talked less
with a perfect wife and perfect son, how could he not be humble?
Patron saint of a happy death
presumably dying in the arms of Jesus and Mary
We should pray to Joseph for ourselves / loved one, that they too may have a happy death with Jesus at their side.
So today, let us reflect on what we can do to hear God more clearly and to have the strength of Joseph to obey God and protect our wives and children. May God bless each of you.