We sometimes forget the role that Joseph plays in the birth of Jesus and His childhood. He must have been very tempted to abandon Mary once he found out that she was already pregnant! The fact that he did not abandon her is, I think, testimony to his great faith. Joseph is a great example for us in this regard. Let us remember to pray and ask his intercession whenever our faith needs strengthening.
It was Joseph’s faith in God that enabled him to cope with his difficult situation. We do not read much about the life of Joseph in the Scriptures so we can assume that he was a very unassuming man who did not like the limelight to be shining upon him. I think that this provides us with a very good basis to understand the deeper meaning of faith. What I mean by this is that men and women of faith, throughout the history of the Church, never seek to draw attention to themselves. Yes, they may have become focal points of attention in their earthly lives, but this was not of their own choosing. To the very last one of them I am sure that they would rather have remained anonymous and thus far from the public spotlight.
A man or woman of faith is never someone who needs the constant attention of others. In fact, the opposite is true! The saints are people who have utter assurance as to their true identity as a son or daughter of God. Of course, they have their bad days and are tempted to doubt this truth, but ultimately they are victorious over these doubts through submitting their lives more fully to their faith. It is here that Joseph can provide us with inspiration. He seems to have been a fairly normal sort of a person in that he held down a regular job and was a family man like most men are. Yes, he had a rather extraordinary son, but that does not change the fact that the rest of his life was quite normal.
Let us be confident that if we ask his intercession that he will also be able to inspire us in some mysterious way to live out our ordinary lives in a way that is faithful to the Gospel.
How can I be more faithful to the little things in my life that are sometimes a nuisance to me, but nevertheless, essential to my faithfulness to God?
St Joseph, help me with your prayers to live a simple, yet faithful life to the Gospel. Pray for me that I will know God’s will for my life and inspire me to follow it faithfully.