“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
This venerable adage reminds us that, by and large, we learn from the example of those around us, particularly our parents, the first in whom we confide, the first to confide in us.
Children watch TV and pick up words, mannerisms and actions they emulate quite naturally. People who are revered and admired by their parents tend to influence the values and characteristics that children will respect and strive to acquire.
In our contemporary society we needn’t go too far to discover figures, in politics as well as in the world of entertainment and sports, who at best can be categorized as brash, arrogant, filled with themselves, narcissistic, glorifying machismo and bravado. Not exactly the qualities identified by Christ as characteristic of the Reign of God.
In the face of that, we followers of Christ today have reason to emulate and revere Joseph, husband of Mary, whom the Church celebrates this day and under whose patronage we all reside as members of the Church. A word which embodies the person of Joseph, from whom not a single word is registered in Scripture but whose actions speak far louder than many of the harsh and self-aggrandizing words we hear each day, and that one word is HUMILITY.
Joseph was a humble man. There was not an ounce of false bravado or "machismo" in this servant of God, who loved God above himself, as well as Mary, choosing the COMMON GOOD over his own personal gain. From the moment he said yes to the angel, he lived that "yes" for the Lord. How challenging an example he is in an age of narcissism and inordinate self-love.
The mission of Jesus continues today through his Body on earth, his Church. He has entrusted the work of that mission to all those who, like Joseph, accept the invitation to empty themselves - of themselves - in order to be filled with the very life and love of God and work to make this world a better place for everyone.
Rev. Art Purcaro, OSA
Mission and Ministry