Today’s readings [display_podcast]
It doesn’t take too much of a stretch of the imagination to know that St. Joseph was a very special man. He was, of course, of the line of David, but he is the specific person in that line that God chose to be the foster father of his only Son.
In Joseph, we see righteousness. He was a devout follower of the law. Even his initial unwillingness to take Mary into his home shows that he was a man who walked in the way the Law taught. But righteousness means more than that. It means following whatever way puts us in right relationship with God and others. His righteousness went beyond mere observance of the Law, and followed in the way God laid out for him, as uncertain as that must have been.
In Joseph, we see justice. He was a hard worker, and a skilled carpenter. He gave what his customers asked. He was also just in his dealings with Mary, accepting her into his house because of God’s command.
In Joseph, we see faithfulness. He practiced his faith and was obedient to God. He protected his family from hardship and oppression, and evil intent. He raised his Son and taught him the Law. He was faithful to Mary.
The real gift of this celebration of St. Joseph is that he is a great model for our faith. Men particularly don’t often have role models of faithfulness and righteousness, but in St. Joseph we have all of that. Joseph is the patron of fathers and of workers for a reason: in him we see both of those vocations raised to glory because St. Joseph was a man who lived his faith in all of his life.
When we find faithfulness difficult, we have Joseph to look to for help. Through his intercession, may our work and our lives be blessed, and may we be found faithful to the word of the Lord.