This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband…decided to divorce her quietly…when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her…” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel commanded him… Matthew 1:18-25
Joseph, Jesus’ father on earth, was a just man, but he was also merciful. So, though he knew Mosaic Law would not allow him to take a pregnant woman for his wife, he did not want to cause Mary embarrassment – or even death. That is why he decided to divorce her quietly. But Joseph also had an open, listening heart.
He heard the angel of God speaking to him in his dreams. Not only did he hear that God was telling him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, but he realized what this would mean going forward. He was being asked to care for and educate the Child of God. He did not hesitate or find any excuses to ignore his dream. He did as he was commanded.
This shows us Joseph’s profound humility. He didn’t argue about how he wasn’t the person for the job; nor did he get full of pride due to being asked to take this responsibility. He simply lived in truth, doing whatever God asked, believing in God’s Plan for him, for his wife, and for the Child to be born. He knew the dignity of living in faith and cooperating with God’s Divine Plan.
While Joseph’s voice is not heard anywhere in Scripture, if we listen to his actions, we will hear what he would say to us. We know he cared for the Holy Family with love and devotion and continued to listen to God speaking through his dreams. The angel would later ask Joseph to leave everything behind and flee to Egypt to save his son. Again he did not hesitate. What faith he had!
Let us ask St. Joseph to help us grow in faith and to hear and obey what God asks of us as he did. As we continue to grow in faith and try to live just lives, let us seek the help of St. Joseph so that we do not become full of pride in dictating what is right. Rather, help us to temper justice with mercy as he did. Let us not hesitate to reach out in love to those God asks us to care for, no matter how difficult.
St. Joseph is our twentieth Ornament of Grace.
Observing the Beautiful Ornaments
How have you heard God speaking to you?
Were you able to do what He asked?