Today is the Solemnity of St Joseph, the husband of Mary, the man who is called “just.” To call a person “just,” is like saying “he who is virtuous in all things.” Joseph was faithful to listening and responding to the voice of God. He was courageous in carrying out his yes.
To be “virtuous in all things” makes me visualize a day-by-day, moment-by-moment ascent of a mountain range of choices, trials, unexpected changes, upset plans, new discoveries and challenging opportunities. Every aspect of Joseph’s life could be said to be an unexpected, upset, redirected, turned around…mystery.
Do you have these Joseph moments in your life?
Moments like moving, changing jobs, starting out on your own….
Saying goodbye at the moment when a loved one or friends walks into eternity….
Discovering that what you thought was true about someone actually wasn’t…
Being challenged to consider a vocation or ministerial possibility for which you don’t feel prepared…
Having to enter into a situation that compromises what others think of you without the luxury of explaining or defending yourself…
Trying hard to do what needs to be done only to have the plans completely changed for an unknown reason, leaving you only with the faith that God is still here whatever happens…
Stay close to Joseph in order to in all things live virtuously.
Joseph will inspire you to silence so that you will hear your angels when God sends you direction for your life.
Joseph will give you the courage of discernment and prudence so that you can listen for God’s voice alone and set aside all the other voices of self-interest, entitlement, or fear.
Joseph will show you the wisdom of openness to change so that you can show up fully and responsibly for your vocation as it unfolds throughout the years of your life.
Joseph will bless you with the trust needed to witness to your faith that God is at work in whatever confusion or reversal life may throw your way.
Joseph will remind you again and again that all his preparations for the birth of the Son of God went to naught as he left for Bethlehem during a census and fled to Egypt to escape the jealous wrath of King Herod. He surrendered all that was his and provided for the Holy Family “on the fly,” so to speak, so that we would know that it is God who does all things, and everything God does he does well. When things fall apart on our end, the failure simply manifests what God had intended all along. Joseph’s story was an endless discovery and embrace of the mystery of God’s plan for him and Jesus and Mary. This father of the Holy Family willingly leaned into mystery no matter what the cost to himself rather than relinquish the vocation given him.
Joseph moments. Our lives are full of them. May this great saint help us be faithful in all things.
Photo Credit Cathopic: Vanesa Guerrero, rpm