“…a just man and a strong man.
Love was in him like the crystal in the rock.” Caryll Houselander
Think of a person you treasure. Imagine that because of circumstances you are no longer able to watch over that treasured person. Would you not look for someone known for his or her goodness; someone wise, kind, steadfast and loving, whom you know intimately and trust thoroughly to protect and care for your treasured one? So it was that God the Father chose Joseph to be guardian and father to Jesus, spouse and protector of Mary.
Each year the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Joseph - a workman patiently engaged in his trade, earning his livelihood by carpentry; a faithful husband who rejoiced in his wife’s love; a strong and tender father who with Mary, nurtured and taught the Incarnate Son of God.
Saint Teresa of Avila, an enthusiastic advocate of devotion to Saint Joseph wrote, “His aid has brought me more good than I could ever hope for… I know from experience that this glorious saint helps in each and every need.” Yes, we go to Joseph with our needs, asking him to intercede for us but what can we learn from this young man whose plans for the future were turned upside down when he discovered his betrothed was with child and an angel revealed to him how God’s plan would reshape his?
Joseph’s faith was tested. He listened to God’s voice in the depths of his heart and in the message of the angel. He did not persist in pursuing his own plans, but stepped out on the unexpected journey of God’s plan and design, weaving itself into his life and into his relationship with Mary. Like Joseph, we all face times of anguish and uncertainty when God allows things to happen that are bewildering and difficult and deeply affect us. Like Joseph, we are asked to trust and to take time to listen to what God may be asking us to do to help bring about the realization of Jesus’ dream for our world. In the words of the Lenten responsorial psalm: “If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.”