On today’s feast, we celebrate the faithfulness of Saint Joseph. When he became betrothed to Mary, he got more than he could ever have bargained for. It certainly would have been easy to divorce her quietly when the news of her pregnancy became known, and it certainly would have been difficult to continue the relationship under those circumstances. Yet, he heeded the word of the angel in his dream, and was faithful to God’s will for him. His faithfulness preserved the heritage of Jesus, so that he would be born of David’s line.
And so we owe much to Joseph and his willingness to act on his faith in God’s word. We know that he was part of the ancestral line that extended from the beginning to the birth of Jesus, but Joseph probably didn’t. We know that he was the strong family leader who made possible the growth of his foster son and the protection of his holy family, but Joseph probably didn’t. There was a lot of the big picture that Joseph didn’t get to see; he acted in faith on the little messages he received in dreams. I wonder if any of us would be so willing to make that leap of faith.
Joseph was the faithful father who protected Mary and Joseph, taught him the faith as a good father would, and taught him his craft. He is the patron of fathers, of workers, and of the universal Church, among others.
When we find faithfulness difficult, we can look to Joseph for help. Through his intercession, may our work and our lives be blessed, and may we too be found faithful to the word of the Lord.