Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

St Joseph

SAINT JOSEPH

WE are familiar, of course, with those incidents in the Gospels in which Saint Joseph plays a part-the Nativity, the presentation of the Infant Jesus according to the Law, the flight into Egypt, and the finding of the Boy there after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem-but it still remains true that we know very little about him. He is mentioned by only two of the evangelists, and then hardly more than in passing; he is never described; he never speaks.

Yet the obscurity of his life hides a great and holy mystery. With his immeasurable faith and love he effaced himself completely in the service of Christ and the Blessed Virgin.   His life was to live for them; he chose no other goal. This was the office that God assigned to him, and though it was hidden from men’s eyes it was of the highest dignity and importance. For he was entrusted with the care of God’s beloved maiden, Mary, and was to stand in the place of father to God’s own Son. Did anyone ever have such a privilege before or since?

It is good for us to think about this and understand how well Joseph lived up to God’s demands.   First, he must have been a man of firmness and strength, to be in charge of things, to be wage-earner, and head of this household. He must be capable of quick decision and forceful action when the occasion demanded it. But most of all he must be rich in faith, and believe without hesitation the strange and wonderful things God would reveal to him; and perfectly obedient, to carry out the directions God would give, as when the angel told him to flee with his family to Egypt.

In the designs of God, the mystery of the Incarnation was to be hidden from the world until Christ Himself would reveal it in His public life. Joseph was married to Mary – a true marriage as the Gospels show. Thus he could protect Mary’s virginity and hide the secret of its divine fruitfulness. Thus he could serve as earthly father to her divine Child, providing that care and nurture a child needs, and again keep veiled the mystery of His appearance among men.

It is not surprising that Saint Joseph has been named patron of the Universal Church. He is the guardian of the Christian religion as he was guardian of Christ, and the protector and defender of the Church, which is truly the Lord’s house and the kingdom of God on earth. Because of the belief that at the hour of his death he was consoled by Jesus and Mary, he is also invoked for the grace of a happy death.

~ Courtesy of : Welcome to the Catholic Church, CD-ROM, Lives of the Saints: c.2008

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