St. Joseph

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him. (Matthew 1:24)

In a world where so many say, “My will be done,” St. Joseph is a refreshing example of one who said to God, “Thy will be done.” Like his faithful spouse, Mary, Joseph’s yes to God was of great importance in the divine plan. We are blessed that his life was yielded to doing God’s will, no matter what the cost to himself or his reputation.

Joseph’s holiness and obedience were so heroic that he can seem sep­arated from everyday life. But Joseph was an ordinary man. Like us, he too had to learn how to listen to God’s voice and how to discern his will. Remember, Joseph initially intended to divorce Mary quietly once he had discovered she was pregnant. But it was his yes to God in response to a dream that not only protected Mary but also the child within her.

In the dream, God told Joseph to name the child Jesus. Joseph knew that by naming the child himself, he would be publicly accepting him as his own—his flesh and blood. Through two other dreams, and in even more dangerous situations, Joseph demonstrated the extent to which he had learned to hear God’s voice and follow that voice whatever the consequences. First, he had to flee to Egypt to save his young fam­ily from Herod’s murderous rage. Then, after having set up shop as a carpenter in that foreign land, he had to uproot everyone once more and move to Nazareth, facing again the challenge of establishing himself and providing for his family in yet another new environment. And never once did he complain. Rather, he showed that he was willing to drop his plans as soon as God showed him a new path.

His story doesn’t take up many pages in the Bible, but Joseph is one of our greatest models of obedi­ence, faithfulness, and surrender to God’s plan. May we all be like him as we learn to trust in the Lord and lean not on our own preconceived understanding.

“Thank you, Father, for the example that Joseph is for us today. Teach me to respond with the same obedience and faithfulness. May my yes to your will today be something that inspires future generations.”

2 Samuel 7:4-5,12-14,16; Psalm 89:22-5,27,29; romans 4:13,16-18,22