To follow up on my reflection of two days ago, we only have to look at the celebration of St. Joseph Day, to understand the attitude and call of these holy days. The world "celebrates" Patrick's day with wanton self-indulgence; Joseph's day is celebrated with service and corporal works of mercy. The World jumps at Patrick's day and ignores Joseph's day.
Perhaps this is a harsh judgment, but it is a call to us to celebrate both days in a manner befitting the saint.
Joseph was a man of no words that we can find, but the words we do know tell us enough. He was thought "righteous" by everyone. This is not self-righteousness, or being right about everything. If we look, he seems to need God to tell him everything! But that is the "righteous" that we are talking about. Joseph was a true adherent to the Law, to his relationship with God, and so he like Abram his father before him, "put his faith in the LORD, who attributed it to him as an act of righteousness." (Genesis 15:6).
It is Joseph's actions that we celebrate. His kind fatherhood and ardent teaching of the Law must have had a great influence on the humanity of his foster son, which allowed him to "advance in wisdom and age and favor before God and man". We can see the effects of Joseph's fathering actions in the actions of Jesus. To submit one's human will as Jesus did, as Joseph did, as Abram did -- this is a statement without words for each of us.
On a note, the submission of Joseph is in juxtaposition to the resistance of Zechariah (Luke 1:5-20) when the angel speaks; Zechariah is struck dumb when he fights God's will; Joseph never says a word as he submits and follows it.
Joseph pray for us to Jesus that we too may learn righteousness from you and do God's will without question.
Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.
-- Luke 2:41-52
Things to Think About