Solemnity of St Joseph
There is little that we know for sure about Joseph, apart from his name and a couple of events during the childhood of Jesus. The Gospel does not record a single one of his words; we could say that his language is peaceful and compliant silence. He listened to the quiet voice which spoke to him in his sleep and generously obeyed in what was asked of him. He earned the family’s living by manual labour, so that Jesus was later known as the son of the carpenter. On the solemnity of St Joseph, we must reflect, learn and imbibe three lessons:
Hidden Life: Joseph lived a hidden life, the life of a simple artisan, far from all celebrity. But that humble man was so near to Jesus and Mary, intimately connected with their life and providing them with security.
Just Man: The Gospel calls Joseph a just man. He was a poor, honest, hard-working, and deep interior life, giving him the freedom to put himself at the disposal of God’s plan for the childhood of Jesus. Joseph accepted the responsibility and the burden of family life, while renouncing the consolation of natural conjugal love because of his extraordinary vocation.
Commitment: As pope Paul VI said (back in 1969), that Saint Joseph offered the whole of his existence in a total sacrifice to the demands raised by the extraordinary coming of the Messiah, whom he acknowledged as the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and as his own son only in a juridical and domestic way. Joseph was a fully committed man. His commitment must inspire us! A total commitment to Blessed Virgin Mary, and total commitment to Jesus, who was his offspring only by legal descent, not by the flesh. His were the burdens, risks and responsibilities of caring for the Holy Family. Falling in line with God’s design, he collaborated in the work of human salvation.
Let us follow his example in surrendering to God’s designs amidst the obscurities and uncertainties of life. Amen.