“The Lord wants us to understand that just as he was subject to St. Joseph on earth — for since bearing the title of father, being the Lord’s tutor, Joseph could give the child commands — so in heaven God does whatever he commands.” ~ Saint Teresa of Avila
Fresh on the heels of yesterday’s Gospel (Matthew 1:1-17) wherein Matthew chronicles the Genealogy of Jesus Christ https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/1-4, today we revisit the story of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 1:18-25).
Although there is much to reflect upon in this Passage, Joseph’s role in this miraculous birth story and his faith journey subsequent to it provides every Christian man who aspires to live a life rooted in genuine faith and love of God a divine roadmap. Yes, we can all learn a lot from Saint Joseph.
When Mary was found to be with child, conceived by way of the Holy Spirit, Joseph, being a righteous man, was unwilling to expose her to the societal shame of bearing a child out of wedlock. He opted to divorce her quietly, bearing the humiliation himself. In this day and age of finger pointing, shaming, and other assorted forms of social media trash talking designed to exact revenge in the most ruthless and public of ways, it’s almost hard to fathom this sort of dignity and grace in the face of such scandal.
We are then told that an Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, imploring him to “be not afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.” Angelic visitations, children being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.... I think we can safely add faith to the long list of Joseph’s virtues.
The Angel goes on to say that “She (Mary) will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.” Joseph is suddenly entrusted to keep the newborn Savior of the World and the sinless woman who bore him safe, a Savior who would essentially be born with a bullseye on his back. Joseph’s courage, keen intuition and fortitude would be greatly tested. He would pass the test.
Even in the waning moments of this passage Joseph’s self-control was on display as we are told he “would have no relations with his wife,” remaining chaste as was God’s will and plan for him. His beautiful wife would not be objectified.
Yes, every man who aspires to be a genuine disciple of Christ could learn a lot from Saint Joseph. He was a selfless, humble, fearless, quiet man of God who by virtue of his faith and fortitude simply put one foot in front of the other and believed in God’s plan for him. He believed that God would never leave him. He was right.
Saint Padre Pio encourages us to “Go to Joseph with extreme confidence, because I do not remember having asked anything from St. Joseph without having obtained it readily.”
Go to him. Go to him so that you can be like him.
“Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.” ~ Amen.