Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.
But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
We often think of Joseph as gentle and quiet, but it is a mistake to interpret his quiet gentility as weakness.
Joseph had one assignment: to protect and provide for Christ and his mother. This was no easy task. Every time we hear of Joseph, he is being bold. He whisks his family to safety from murderous Herod. He courageously walks his family past Herod’s palace to visit the Temple every year. Even taking Mary into his home in the first place was an act of courage and resolve.
Joseph is a model for all Christians, for we are also called to be guardians of Christ. We nourish Christ in ourselves. We protect Christ in the poor who suffer. We stand up for the Word with our lives.
We may do these things quietly and gently, but make no mistake, it takes Christian courage to do so. Be brave, do not be afraid to take Christ into your heart!
For reflection: Do I nourish Christ in my heart? Do I protect Christ in the suffering of others? Do I guard the truth and Word of Christ in the world?
—Stephen Kramer, SJ, is a Jesuit deacon of the Central and Southern Province currently finishing his Master’s degree in Theology at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He will be ordained to the priesthood in June.
Joseph, son of David, and husband of Mary;
We honor you, guardian of the Redeemer,
and we adore the child you named Jesus.
Saint Joseph, patron of the universal church,
pray for us, that like you we may live totally dedicated to the interests of the Savior.
—From the Rosary of St. Joseph
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