Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family, a day set aside to honor the lives of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the model of the perfect Christian family. In the the gospel reading from today’s Mass (Mk 2:13-15, 19-23), we see the light of St. Joseph shining especially bright. As a husband and father, I am especially struck with Joseph’s example. However, all Christians (not just fathers) can learn much from the example of this holy man:
Obedience – When God spoke to Joseph through His angels, he obeyed. Are we as willing to listen to God speak to us through the teachings of His Church? On the other hand, do we only believe those teachings with which we agree?
Charity – Joseph put his own needs aside and cared for Mary and Jesus. Do we always put the needs of others before our own needs?
Faith – Joseph trusted in God’s will even when it didn’t make sense. Do we willingly accept the crosses and difficulties in our own life even when they are hard to understand? How many times do we find ourselves complaining about circumstances over which we have no control?
Example – By obeying God and caring for his family, Joseph set a great example. Do we set a good example for our children, co-workers and friends? Would someone desire to become a Catholic by observing our actions and listening to our words? Do we use foul language in front of our children and in the workplace? Do we regularly attend Mass and receive the Sacraments?
If you find yourself lacking in any of these areas, ask St. Joseph for his help. He is standing by, ready and willing to intercede for each of us. You can rest assured that, just as he watched over the Holy Family with loving concern, he will watch over and pray for each of us… and lead us right to Jesus.
St. Joseph, pray for us!