Solemnity of St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(II Samuel 7:4-5a.12-14a.16; Romans 4:13.16-18.22; Matthew 1:16.18-21.24a)
The movie “Raggedy Man” tells about a disfigured war veteran who returns home to silently watch over his estranged wife and two sons. The man, who abandoned his family several years before, eventually gives his life to protect it from intruders. The story is reminiscent in ways of the gospel portrait of St. Joseph.
St. Joseph never utters a word in the two gospels where he has active roles. Yet his contribution to the birth and upbringing of Jesus is palpable. He gives Jesus the proper lineage of a Messiah. Equally critical, he lives righteously carrying out the spirit of the law which, no doubt, gives example to the boy Jesus. Prompted by the heavenly messenger, he takes the pregnant Mary into his home. Moved again to save Jesus from the machinations of the evil Herod, he takes Mary and her son to Egypt. It is assumed that through these trials and beyond he never has sexual intimacy with the Virgin Mother.
In our over-heated sexually and under-achieving morally society St. Joseph serves as model of goodness. He reflects the truth that sex is not everything, but attending to a relationship with Jesus is. Further, he inspires us to discern from our experiences as well as our dreams the vocation to which God is calling us.