Tuesday, 19 March 2019
Imagine his dilemma. He was engaged to Mary when she found out she was due to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. At first he considered doing what many men with a pregnant girl friend whose baby is not theirs would have done - run a mile in the opposite direction.
Being an honourable man he decided to break the engagement privately so as not to disgrace her.
Then the angel appeared to him in a dream; and based on that dream alone he decided to marry Mary and raise her son as if He were his own.
Joseph was an ordinary good Jew, obedient to the Jewish Law. But God intervened and shattered his life-expectations. He is called to a new level of obedience. That of God.
Joseph was there when Jesus was born in Bethlehem and we read about him when he took Jesus and Mary to Egypt to escape from Herod (Matthew 2:13) and then when they returned to Nazareth (Matthew 2:19).
He is also mentioned when the boy Jesus was twelve years old and found in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41).
So as Jesus' foster father he was there during His early years protecting Him from Herod and providing a loving family for the Son of God.
What a wonderful man he must have been. Working quietly in the background, without much recognition, doing God's will in raising His Son on earth.
So, what is his legacy to us?
Obedience and trust.
Despite what his common sense told him to do, he did not walk away from Mary. He trusted and obeyed God and decided to stay with Mary. He decided to provide for her and a child who was not his. He taught the child carpentry and raised Him up as his own.
May his obedience and trust be an example to us all. Especially when we are called by God to obey what He commands.
This prayer to St Joseph is said to be over 1900 years old. It was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the 1500's it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. It is a novena to be prayed for nine consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail.
“O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the most Loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.”