Joseph is someone who is frequently airbrushed out of Nativity scenes. So often Christmas cards depict Mary and Jesus, wherein Joseph is missing from the scene. He is a man of quiet strength and faith. The readings for today call us to reflect on God’s relationship with each person – a relationship that calls us to trust and believe the promise that God is always with us.
The law gives us structure and guidance and that is not without merit. Faith and openness to God’s call and presence in our daily life requires faith in this presence and the unfolding of our lives, even perhaps in ways we never anticipated. In the Gospel, Joseph is referred to as an “upright man unwilling to expose her to the law, and divorce her quietly.” He was a caring and kind man who understood the limits of the law. After his decision he was visited in his sleep by an Angel and “he did as the Angel of the Lord had directed him and received her into his home as his wife.” Joseph’s faith and love made Mary’s delivery and parenting of Jesus part of our salvation story. As we read in Romans, “All Abraham’s descendants not only for those who have the law but for all who have his faith. Thus his faith was credited to him as justice.” Maybe today as we remember Joseph and the gift that he was to Mary and Jesus, we might ask him to help us in our faith and hope for a more just and loving world, and to be open to moments when we are called to do something that might require leaving our comfort zone.
Mission and Ministry