Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of St. Joseph. While scripture tells us very little about him, we do know that he was a “righteous” man (Mt 1:19). When we think about all that this man was asked to do, it makes us realize the strength of his faith.
During their engagement, Mary informed Joseph that she was pregnant. In order to spare his future wife humiliation and ridicule, Joseph decided to break off their engagement. However, when the angel of The Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and explained that the pregnancy occurred by the power of the Holy Spirit, he agreed to continue their engagement. Joseph accepted God’s will, even though it didn’t make sense.
After Jesus was born, the angel of The Lord again appeared to Joseph and instructed him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt in order to protect them from the evil Herod. Once again Joseph obeyed The Lord’s message, even though it was difficult. When the angel appeared again to Joseph and told him to return to Israel, he obeyed.
When we look at these stories we see that 1.) Joseph obeyed God’s will without hesitation and 2.) He protected his family even when it was difficult. Those of us who are fathers would do well to imitate St. Joseph in those two areas. After all, is there anything more important than listening to God and protecting our families? Those who are not fathers can still imitate this great saint’s obedience to God’s will. Even though the Bible contains very little information about this great man of God, what is written tells us all we really need to know about this “righteous” man.