Mt 1:16,18-21, 24a Stop Protesting. Start Listening.

This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.”

The Feast Day of St. Joseph. I’ll admit it’s a little intimidating to write a reflection today. I mean, St. Joseph!! He’s a big one. Protector of homes, patron saint of the universal Church, fathers, a happy death…

I must admit, I haven’t given him enough credit before recently.  I guess it’s because I’m neither a father nor husband. As I started asking around about saints and St. Joseph, I realized how instrumental his role—and the role of all the saints—is in our life. In praying for St. Joseph’s intercession and reading about him these past few days, I have begun to unravel the example of holiness and obedience that is St. Joseph.

Before now, in my mind, he just kind of observed. He stood by as the big stuff happened. After all, throughout the entire Bible, he didn’t even say anything! But, you see, what I’ve come to realize now is that he didn’t stand by. He stepped aside. He stepped aside so Godcould be glorified, not him.

Joseph was asked to marry the Blessed, the Holy, the One and Only Virgin Mary. He was asked to adopt the Savior of Humanity. Tasks like that could have easily given him a big head. But he instead chose the route of humility and obedience to our Lord.

First, take his relationships with others. St. Joseph lived with perfect people. Imagine that. He was the onlysinner in the entire bar Joseph household. Talk about pressure! Imagine prayer time with his adopted Son…. “Dear…You, please, uh, bless me and my blessed, holy, perfect wife.”

Imagine how he treated Jesus. God had entrusted him to watch after and instruct the holiest and most perfect child to be born onto this earth. There was a lot of pressure involved with that, no doubt. Yet still, Joseph taught Jesus his trade, his prayers, his way of life. And well, yes, he lost him for three days, but hey, it happens to the best of  ‘em, right? (kidding)

Imagine how Joseph treated Mary. He loved her with such a pure love that no physical means could define or express it. He embodies what it means to be united man and wife and, most importantly, God. Now I don’t know much about marriage, but I spoke with someone who does, a man who is devoted to both his wife and to our Lord. He says it better than I ever could.

“St. Joseph is the perfect spouse. He was hardworking, compassionate, understanding, patient, kind, and loving. Marriage is tough work. A Christian marriage requires both humility and trust, but it also invites God into the picture to be in relationship with the husband and the wife. It takes three to make a marriage work. St. Joseph knew that well. As a husband, although the head of the household, I am called to lower myself in relation to my wife in order to love, protect, honor, and respect her just as St. Joseph did for Mother Mary. This act of lowering oneself – humility – is seen when you put your needs and wants aside for what is best for your spouse. St. Joseph is the perfect example of putting his needs and wants aside for what was best for his wife knowing that he was doing the will of God. Was it difficult? Of course. That’s part of being Christian. That’s part of picking up our Cross to follow Him.”

Joseph knew humility inside and out. He knew the love owed to Mary because he knew the love of God. Think about how he treated the Lord. He had been blessed with the gifts of a holy and perfect family. But soon, he learned that his adopted Son, beloved and divine, would be killed viciously and unjustly. A sword would pierce the heart of the woman he loved. And he could do nothing. It was part of a plan that Joseph, being human, probably didn’t fully understand. And still, he accepted it, just like he accepted marrying a pregnant woman who his culture would have assumed the worst of a stoned. He didn’t protest. He didn’t grow angry. Joseph swallowed his pride, closed his mouth, and listened.

This takes courage. This required Joseph to put God first, to step aside and trust that God’s plan, though seemingly chaotic to him, would work for the best. The fact that Joseph said no words in the Bible is not a sign of insignificance. Rather, that silence speaks wonders. St. Joseph is an example to us all.

Like his life demonstrates, silence is necessary. Silence means that we put God before our doubts and our protests. We accept His will without a fight. We put our needs aside and arm ourselves with God’s word and God’s guidance. In doing so, we don’t enter into a journey without suffering, but we DO enter into God’s journey, a path that will never disappoint.

This Lent, follow Joseph’s example. Stop protesting, and start listening.  
 
This meditation was written by Faith, a senior at a local Catholic high school.  She is a frequent contributor to Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse.  You can find Faith at heavens boulevard.

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Fr. Alfonse (762 Posts)


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